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ijiis Li iL-. 



S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 


OF PHTSICLIXS, LJJ 18-30, 18-31 AN'D 1852, OX 

















*• There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely 
than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery. 
But there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it 
can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority y 

Washington, in a letter to Robert Morris. 

La Fayette remarked, in his last visit, with astonishment, 
the aggravation of the prejudices againstthe blacks ; and states, 
that, in the revolutionary war, the black and white soldiers 
messed together without hesitation." 

Jay, on Slavery, 1853. 

Let the religions people in the United States do their duty, 
and Slavery and the Second Slavery will cease from that hour ! 




My dear Son, 

I dedicate these pages to you, the com- 
panion of my travels in the United States. You were 
witness to all my anxieties for the poor African race, 
and to the formation of the plan of Self- Emancipation 
about to be developed. 

Remember with me, and with every loyal Ameri- 
can, the simple but emphatic words of Washington. 

Your most affectionate Father, 


London, August Ibth, 1854. 

The fact of these pages having been written to 
different persons, at different times, will account for 
occasional repetitions of the same idea. I have thought 
it better to leave this defect, than to alter the original 
manuscripts. An idea so repeated at distant inter- 
vals must assuredly have been one which from its im- 
portance had made a vivid impression on the writer's 









I take the liberty of addressing these Letters to 
you, because from you, I beheve, all good to the poor 
African people in the United States must originate. With 
your interests, with your estates, with your famihes, 
they and their condition are indissolubly hnked and 
bound up ; from your kindness and generosity, and sense 
of justice, any peaceful, beneficent, and momentous 
change in their condition must flow. 

I have frequently heard it observed by you, that 
Slavery is a great evil ; but that it is an inheritance 
which you have received from England, and now know 
not how to dismiss from your soil ; and that you would 
gladly adopt any measure which would have this effect, 
if such a m^easure could be devised. 


Believing in and relying upon this assurance, I 
earnestly submit to your consideration the details and 
the suggestions which the following Letters unfold. 
Being addressed in idea to you, they cannot contain 
an offensive word. They are written with the most 
sincere good wishes for your reputation throughout 
the world, and for your welfare at home. I trust you 
will receive them in good part and with cordiality. If a 
benevolent American were to come to this country, and 
to point out, in a friendly spirit (such a spirit as shall 
pervade these Letters), all that is wrong here, with its 
remedy, I, at least, would hail his visit and efforts as 
those of a benefactor. 

Believe me. 


Your sincere well-wisher, 



Letter L 


The Slavery and Second Slavery of the United States ; 
Abolition; Colonization; Perpetual Slavery; Self- 
Emancipation ... 1 

Letter IL 

Slavery in the United States : its Ignorance ; its Degra- 
dation ; the Want of Holy Mamage, and of Parental 
Rights; Servile War? 10 

Letter III. 

The Second Slavery in the United States; Prejudice, 
Oppression, Persecution 17 

Letter IY. 

Slave-Breeding : its Immoralities ; the Separation of 
Parents and Children ; &c 24 

Letter Y. 

The Planter and the Plantation 31 

Letter YI. 

Latitude; Climate; Products; Slaves 36 

Letter VII. 

Progress of Emancipation in the North the Eifect of 
Climate 46 

Letter YII.* 

Tlie Abolition Movement 51 

Letter YIII. 

The Colonization Movement 54 

Letter IX. 

Project of Self Emancipation; of the Slave; of the Plan- 
ter; of the States; of the Nation 59 

Letter X. 

The Tables ; the Chart , . 7-t 

Letter XL 

Religions in the United States : the * Friends ;' the Me- 
thodists ; the Baptists 78 

Letter XIL 

Self-Emancipation : its Effect? : its Picture c 81 

Letter XIII. 
Kidnapping in the Free States, and Abduction to the 
South 83 

Letter XIY. 

Pro- Slavery Hypotheses : the African Slave the Descen- 
dant of Ham ; distinct in Species from the European ; 
&c. &c 88 

Letter XY. 

Free- State Legislation: the Black Act of Connecticut; 
the Black Laws of Ohio, of Illinois; &c 93 

Letter XYL 

Emancipation ; without Amalgamation ; a Necessity. ... 96 

Letter XYII. 
Character of the African; Banneker; Toussaiat L'Ou- 
verture ; the Soldier of 1814; &c 99 



Letter XYIII. 
Slavery : its Cruelties and Indignities 118 

Letter XIX. 

Degree of Friendliness towards the African race 121 

Letter XX. 

Homes for the Free African ; friendly and unfriendly 
States 125 

Letter XXL 

Self- Emancipation ; successive Boons to the Slave 128 

Letter XXII. 

What shall we do to further Self-Emancipation ? 130 

Chapter I. 

Washington ; Baltimore ; Philadelphia ; the Ohio ; Louis- 
ville; the Upper Mississippi; &c 135 

Chapter II. 

Niagara ; Canada ; New York 142 

Chapter III. 

Richmond; Charleston; Savannah; the Alabama; Mobile. 146 
Chapter IV. 

New Orleans ; Havana ; the Lower Mississippi ; the 
Ohio 152 








The Slavery and Second Slavery of the United States ; 
Abolition; Colonization; Perpetual Slavery ; Self- 

•X- -X- 4f * -Jf * 

I HAVE, during nearly fifteen months spent in the 
United States, directed all my attention to the condition 
of the African race in that land of hberty, so-called. 
I have during this period four times crossed the States 
between their eastern and western points, in their mean 
and extreme latitudes ; and I have visited Canada and 
Cuba. I wished to see and judge for myself. I wished 
to behold the poor African in all his positions and in all 
his conditions : — in his state of freedom in Canada ; 
in his bondage to a popular prejudice and a cruel oppres- 
sion in the northern, and in his slavery under a legal 
institution in the southern, States ; and in his worse 
than United States' bondage under the yoke imposed 
by Spanish law or custom in Cuba. 




I soon perceived that the question was not one 
of mere slavery, as that tenn is usually employed ; but 
that there is a second slavery of the free or eman- 
cipated African in the United States, severer, in cer- 
tain respects, even than the first, — a slavery to which 
too little attention has hitherto been paid. 

In effect, the African in the slavery of the United 
States is usually so well cared for, that he is for the 
most part, according to the expression of Henry Clay, 
* fat and sleek,' and his numbers increase in a higher 
ratio than those of the European ; whilst the African 
said to be free is so crushed by State legislation 
and popular prejudice and oppression as to provide for 
himself and family through extreme difficulties, and is 
at once wi*etched indindually and scarcely increases his 
numbers as a race; — ^facts of the most affectmg uiterest. 

Much, therefore, as has been said of Abolition, I 
can scarcely regard it, under existing circumstances, 
as a boon to the poor African in the United States. 

Slavery at least feeds and clothes its unhappy vic- 
tims, so that animal life is supported and perpetuated. 
It is only when the slave is viewed as an intellectual 
being — as Man, in a word — that his degradation, his 
ignorance, his privation of holy marriage and of parental 
rights, his subjection to the infliction of the lash, his 
exposure to pubUc sale by auction, and his treatment 
for the sake of offspring in the breeding States," 
stand forth in all their enormity. 

The question in regard to slavery in the United 
States is essentially a question of religion and of 



conscience. Any other lower view of the subject is 
utterly unworthy of its magnitude and importance, in 
itself, and in its relation to three millions and a half 
(3,638,808) of our fellow men and brethren, the 
coloured people in the United States, and to the character 
of a great nation. 

It will be perceived, as I proceed, that this high 
and conscientious view of the subject is happily not in- 
compatible with the best interests of the European in 
the United States, and of the country at large. 

Unprepared abolition, I repeat, would be no boon 
to the African slave in the United States. It would, 
alone, only lead to the second slavery to which I have 
adverted, even if the freed slave was perfectly well- 
conducted. Might it not also lead to ruin of both 
planter and estate ? 

Besides, it is statistically true that, during the period 
of the abolition agitation, the increase of the number of 
the slaves has been regular and fearful, whilst that of 
the free, so-called, has rapidly diminished. What 
then has this abohtion accompHshed ? Nothing ! And, 
at this very moment, nothing is being done for the poor 
African race in the United States. 

As to Colonization^ it is utterly inadequate to the 
eradication of slavery: in the year 1850, 662 coloured 
persons were sent by the Colonization Society to Liberia. 
In the same year, 8169 (n^^xly fifteen times 562) were 
added to the slave population of the United States, by 
the excess of births over the deaths. It is obvious, 
therefore, that emigration to Liberia can never overtake 



the mere natural increase of the African race ; fai' less 
can it remove the present number of that race in the 
United States, with its increase. During the thirty 
years of the existence of the Colonization movement, 
about 10,000 free Africans have been conveyed away. 
But 3,688,808 of the African race, including 3,204,313 
slave and 434,495 free, exist in the United States and 
Territories, a number which, without increase, it would 
require three centuries and a half to convey away at 
the same rate. 

The scheme of Colonization, therefore, bears no 
proportion to its object, if that object be — emancipa- 
tion of the African slave and his removal from the 
United States. 

But, even admitting that the deportation of the 
African race from the United States were possible, that 
race cannot be spared; it is essential to the cultivation 
of the cotton-plant, the sugar-cane, and the rice-field. 

Abolition and Colonization then are equally out of 
the question. Not less so, I believe, is the deliberate 
view of the Perpetuation of slavery. 

Such a view is immediately met by a great diffi- 
culty. The slaves of the United States are now accu- 
mulated in the southern or slave States, the northern 
States having emancipated themselves from slavery. 
The principal slave States are IMaryland, Virginia, 
North and South Carohna, Georgia, Alabama, Missis- 
sippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, 
below Mason and Dixon's Hne. In these States, 
the numbers of the European are less than in the 



northern States. In several, the African race bears a 
large proportion to the European, and in two, South 
Carolina and Mississippi, actually exceeds it. In ad- 
dition to this large proportional number of the African 
slaves, it must be remembered that they augment their 
numbers, by natural increase, more rapidly than the 
European. This fact is emphatically stated by Dr. 
Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts, in a late admi- 
rable paper, though advocating the delusive scheme of 
Colonization, in De Bow's Review for August 1853. 
It is further shown by the subjoined interesting Table, 
compiled from the Census of 1850, on which I pro- 
pose to give an ample commentary in a future Letter : 

Increase per Cent, of the Population of the United 

From 1790 to 



Free Coloured. 




By a cursory glance at this table, we learn a whole 
history of the influence of immigration, natural in- 
crease, and moral influences on the triple population of 
the United States. The increase of the European from 
the first and second has been uniform ; that of the 
African was greatest in the decennium between 1800 



and 1810, the slave trade having ceased m 1808 ; and 
that of the free coloured was greatest between 1790 and 
1810, under the influence of revolutionary feeHng, and 
least between 1830 and 1850, under that of the aboli- 
tion agitation. 

The result of these facts is, that in the course of 
time the African race will acquire, in the southern 
States, an overwhelming and dangerous numerical ma- 
jority over the European. This event cannot be long 
delayed even. The number of the African is doubled 
in a period of time between 25 and 80 years. Their 
present number is, as I have already stated, 8,638,808. 
In little more than half a century this number will be 
quadrupled, and attain that of fourteen millions ; and 
in a little more than a century it will be upwards of 
fifty millions ! 

Is there not revealed in these views a fearful fu- 
ture, not very remote ? And, should not the planter 
bethink himself how the impending evil may be 
averted ? This cannot be done either by Abolition 
or Colonization. The former would not diminish the 
number of the African race in the United States, and 
could only act by diffusing it over the so-called free 
States, and subjecting it to a second slavery. The 
latter, as I have already said, could only remove a 
very inadequate number. And, lastly, the African 
race cannot, as I have also said, be spared from the 
cotton- the sugar- and the rice-fields of the southern 

Pressed by all these difficulties, or rather impossi- 



bilities, what is to be done to remove this giant evil of 
slavery — of the two-fold slavery, for such it is — from 
the United States ? 

Happily, I believe, I have a well-matured proposi- 
tion to make to effect this great object, a proposition as 
effectual as that object is momentous and grand : — It is 
that of a plan of Self- Emancipation — so framed 
as to strike at the very root of all slavery, eradicating 
at once its degradation, its ignorance, its injustice, and 
its irreligion. 

I propose that a system of education, and discipHne, 
and preparation be adopted ; that a just and generous 
premium be placed on each slave ; that task-work and 
over-work be appointed him, in the place of day-work ; 
that he be led by this means to achieve his own eman- 
cipation, the w^ages for his over-work being secured, 
with liberal interest, in Savings' banks ; that his efforts 
be seconded by the generosity of others ; that when the 
sum appointed is thus accumulated, it be paid over to 
his master by the proper authorities, and that he be 
declared — free ! That, when free, he be retained, if he 
desire it, in his former position, receiving just wages. 

The African race, in the United States, will thus 
become — the finest peasantry in the world, — and be the 
glory instead of the shame of the country. 

From the very moment even that this plan is pro- 
perly and fully promulgated by law, there will no longer 
exist in the United States any other than a voluntary 
slavery ; and the voluntary slave is at once unworthy 
and incapable of freedom ! 



When thus self- emancipated, the slave not only 
be free, but educated, and disciplined, and elevated in 
character. Self- emancipation has this advantage over 
aboUtion, that, whilst it frees, it prepares for freedom ; 
and that, whilst it confers freedom on the slave, it brings 
no ruin on the planter or his estate. It has this ad- 
vantage over ordinaiy manumission, that, whilst it 
achieves freedom, it entails no necessity for removal 
from the plantation where the achievement is made. 
The slave becomes more valuable even than before, as 
a free and more active cultivator of the soil is more 
valuable than the lash-driven slave. 

The first object of self-emancipation, after the at- 
tainment of freedom, is — elevation in character and 
conduct. This will inspire proportionate respect. Eu- 
ropean prejudice and oppression will cease, and the poor 
African will no longer suffer from a second slavery, 
when emancipated from the first. He will excel in 
certain usefijl arts. He will accummulate wealth ; for 
many of his race have done so. And, without amal- 
gamation, which I by no means contemplate, he will 
attain just rank in society, as a man, a rightful husband 
and parent, and a citizen. 

In the scheme of self- emancipation no interests are 
overlooked or neglected. The feeble and infirm vdll not 
be able to emancipate themselves ; they will remain, as 
at present, under their masters' * patriarchal ' care. 
But the able will reimburse the planter the cost of his 
slave, and, I am persuaded, become to him a serv'ant of 
even greater money value. For it is no longer necessary 



to prove that free-labour is more energetic and produc- 
tive than slave-labour, that wages are a better stimulus 
to industry than the lash. 

And what shall I say of the national honour? 
What American will not rejoice to have the stain and 
the sin of slavery, with its degradation, its adultery, its 
cruelty too — for there is cruelty in the slavery of the 
United States, — removed from his native land and home 
for ever? 

There is still another object to be secured — the 
permanency of the Union, which all acknowledge to be 
endangered by the fact of slavery in one-half of the 
United States. 

I propose to discuss each of the topics briefly noticed 
on this occasion, with others, in succession, in subsequent 
Letters. The subject is all-important in a philanthropic 
and economical point of view, and I trust my observa- 
tions may not be without their value and interest to 
my readers in both hemispheres. 




Slavery in the United States: its Ignorance ; its De- 
gradation; the Want of Hohj Marriage, and of 
Parental Rights; Servile War? 


There are in the United States three millions and 
a half of slaves. The population of London and its 
environs within several miles of the Post-office is two 
millions and a half You will readily fjrm an idea of 
the extreme number of the African race now in a state 
of slavery. 

This slavery is such, that its poor victim does not, 
as a rule, know the letters of the alphabet, or the sim- 
plest figiu-es ; he is deprived of the tie of holy and 
indissoluble marriage, and of parental rights ; and he 
is, in a physical, and moral, and rehgious point of view, 
in a state of the utmc»st degradation. 

This degradation is such, that the poor slave has 
been known not unfrequently to prefer his slaver}' to 
freedom. This degradation has in its turn been urged 
against the px)r African race, as if it were not the simple 
effect of the simplest cattse — the privation of all edu- 

The three millions and a half of slaves occupy the 



southern States. The more southern of them may be 
regarded as vast prisons, the hmits of which no slave 
may pass. Within these are the plantations, each of 
which is, in its turn, a minor prison — career in carcere 
— frequently separated by many miles. 

The same monotony reigns from morning to night, 
and from one week, month, and year to another ! It 
is only reUeved by the meanest fiddle and that mockery 
of the guitar, the banjo. This pastime is oflen en- 
couraged by the master, though some of the slaves re- 
ject it ; but the nature of the African is to be musical, 
and most of them deHght in noise and dance. 

The food and clothing of the slave are sufficient to 
maintain life and health. Regarded as an animal, he 
is, according to the derogatory expression of Henry 
Clay, 'fat and sleek.' It is when viewed as Man, 
that his condition is seen to be degrading, all sources of 
improvement and elevation being forcibly cut off. 

This degradation is essential to slavery. Education 
is incompatible with it. None but the grossest ignorance 
will submit to it. Knowledge lights the spark and flame 
of Uberty. To teach a slave is prohibited by State laws 
under the severest penalties. The planter, or his wife, 
or his daughters, may not instruct their slave, although 
I must, in justice, say that I have met with some who 
infringe this cruel law, and kindly give instruction to 
their household slaves. 

Slavery is not less binding on the master than on 
the slave. The former may not teach his slave ; may 
not freely give freedom to his slave. I have already 



said that to teach a slave is a crime punishable by law. 
In order to give a slave his freedom, it must be provided 
that he do not become burdensome to the State, and, in 
some States — Kentucky, for example, — that he leave 
the State within a limited period. 

And what moral bondage does not slavery entail 
on the slave-owner and his family ? The very mind is 
warped. The slave- owner is bound not to perceive in 
an iadividual of the African race a feUow-man and a 
brother, a human being, capable of elevation, of per- 
sonal rights, of holy marriage, of parental ties and 
feeHngs, and of rehgious knowledge. 

He is doomed himself to be familiar with the deroga- 
tory condition of the slave of both sexes, in their com- 
pulsory labour, in their social relations, and in their 
relations with his own family, not always of the purest 
character ; his sons form liaisons with the female slaves, 
and his daughter hear of births and of offspring of 
various shades of colour, without the sanction of mar- 
riage. All become famihar with the buying and selling 
of human beings, the separation of husband and wdfe, 
and of parent and child, for ever ; facts which either 
lacerate or harden the heart. 

And what shall I say of the cruelties inflicted upon 
the poor slave ? These have been repeatedly described 
by abler pens, and I shall only advert to the deadening 
effect they have, either \Aitne5sed or made the subject 
of conversation in the famihes of the slave-owner. No- 
thing is more fearful in its effects than familiarity with 
cruelty. The sensibilities are blunted and the conscience 



seared. To be trained in such familiarity from the 
cradle must, indeed, have a most baneful influence on 
the character. 

FamiUarity with slavery also engenders a repug- 
nance to labour and effort of every kind, extinguishing 
enterprise and improvement. Hence the slave States 
are far more tardy in the march of improvement than 
the States designated free. 

This bondage of the slave -owner, with all its bane- 
ful influences, is keenly felt by some of the planters, 
and is experienced, however unfelt, by all. 

Fearful as these views are, there is another still 
more terrific. The number of the slaves in the United 
States is, as I have said, three millions and a half (in 
1850, 3,204,313). The ratio of its increase is given 
for sixty years in the following Tables, which I com- 
mend to your careful study, and to which I shall have 
occasion to refer fully hereafter : 



OC to CO 
O Ci —I 

CO lO 

Ci o o 

w CO Tj< 


l-l CO Tj< 

00 Ci CO 


CO to o 

CO r-l o 

to CO o 

Jr^ Tj< 00 

-3 CO CO 
00 to 

o ^ o 

O 00 o 

00 r-( r-H 

o to 

00 C5 Tt< 
oo" co" 

O O C5 

CO r-H 00 

T** O 

O O Ci 

^ TtH 00 


Tt* (M 

t>- -^00 


CO — (M 


<N l-H 


CO (M <N 


CO CO c<i 



(N to 

-"sj^^ to" cT 





00 00 


CO 00 C^l 



Free Coloured 





O 00 C<J 
iO O CO 


CO C5 
CO r-( 

»0 00 C5 
O (M (M 
1-1 1-1 

O CO 00 
<N ^ CO 
O 00 o 



00 rH 

Ir^ O 00 

OS r-H O 

^ 00 ^ 
(M 1-1 to 

C5 CO 
O «3 
CO 1-1 C5 

CO o o 

C5 1-1 CO 

•a =^ ^ 


GC r-t 

^ 00 lo 


CO o 
co" co" 






O TjH o 
CO CO o 
»0 1-1 

i,ui / , 


^ to ^ 
00 o uo 


o o o 

<M 1-1 1-1 
cf r-T 





. • 

. O • 




;es. . . . 


^ S 














(N 00 
C<J C5 CO 

CM C<1 CO 


00 C5 
<N CO 


CO !>. to 


CO 00 CO 



Free Coloured 



You will perceive that the increase in number 
of the enslaved African in the United States, but es- 
pecially in the slave States, augments with a fearful 
rapidity. Their number is doubled in a period of between 
twenty-five and thirty years. In rather more than 
a quarter of a century, the number of the slave popula- 
tion in the slave States will ])e nearly six millions and 
a half (6,408,626) ; in half a century, it will be 
12,817,252; in rather more than three fourths of a 
century, it will be 25,634,504 ; and in somewhat more 
than a century, 51,269,008. 

Who can fail to perceive that such facts lead inevi- 
table/ to a most dire and calamitous issue, in revolt and 
servile war — if slaver^/ he continued ? 

I have heard such an event predicted in cold blood. 
But I could not subdue a shudder. I pictured to myself 
the scenes that such a struggle would inflict both on 
slave-holder and slave ! 

My heart expands towards the poor African ; I 
feel grateful towards many kind friends, some of them 
holders of slaves ; and I am a sincere well-wisher to 
the United States, the honour of which I would pro- 
mote amongst the nations of the earth. 




The Second Slavery in the United States ; Prejudice, 
Oppression, Persecution. 

■X- -X- -Jf -X- -Sf -JS- 

I PROPOSE to devote the present Letter to a des- 
cription of that second slavery to which the freed 
African is exposed in the United States — a slavery of 
insensate prejudice and oppression. 

I have lived nearly fifteen months in the hotels of 
the United States. I have been 'helped' by both 
the African and the European, the latter both Anglo- 
Saxon and Celt, and I have no hesitation in stating, that 
to me the manner and behaviour of the African are 
the most genial and kindly ; I am utterly at a loss 
to imagine the source of that prejudice which subsists 
against him in the northern States, a prejudice un- 
known in the south, where the domestic relation be- 
tween the African and the European are so much more 

The African, it is well known, excels as the driver 
of a carriage or a dray; but in Philadelphia, the 
chief town, though not the capital, of the free State of 




Pennsylvania, the abode of the Friends" too, who 
have always advocated the cause of the African, no one 
of this persecuted race may drive an omnibus ; whilst 
in New York, an African gentleman, a minister of the 
" Independents," and a Doctor in Divinity, may not 
take his seat in that public conveyance. 

Ex ungue leonem. Inconceivable prejudice and 
oppression ! Yet in Philadelphia was the famed Decla- 
ration signed, which proudly proclaims that " all men 
are created equaV and are endowed with inahenable 

Imagine an African slave freed by his master for 
good conduct, or self- emancipated by steady personal 
effort, in Kentucky: the "Constitution" of this State 
ordains that he must immediately quit the State. 

Now suppose him to pass into Indiana or Illinois : 
the legislatures of these States prohibit him from re- 
maining and pursuing some useful and industrious 
avocation within their limits ; the free African, in these 
free States, may be and actually is fined and imprisoned 
for the first or second offence of this kind, and sold, or 
rather resold, into temporary or even perpetual slavery, 
if he persevere. 

Is not such freedom dreadful slavery ? 

But if State law is thus oppressive, indi\adual pre- 
judice is not less so. This prejudice, although not 
absent fr'om the breasts of the higher ranks, is greater 
in proportion as we descend in society ; and greatest in 
the recently arrived Irish, who have fled, as they 
affirm, from oppression at home. 



I cannot illustrate this subject better than by an 
extract or two from the paper, formerly quoted, of Dr. 
Chickering : 

The free coloured population of the United States" 
seem doomed to perish in a state of freedom, falsely 
so called, among a people whose feelings and whose 
prejudices loathe fellowship with them, and where the 
whole structure of society is set against their equal 
participation in the blessings of the land." 

" The American people," I mean the white popu- 
lation, alone are citizens and men in this gi'eat and 
growing republic. They feel that in the midst of them 
there is an inferior race, most of whom are declared, by 
the general sentiment and by law, to be unworthy of 
personal freedom, and fit only to be slaves ; or at best, 
in a subordinate and degraded position in society. 
The few who are nominally free are scattered over 
the land, degraded in the community, despised by the 
slaves of their own colour, and in this land of liberty 
and of abundance, get hardly the necessaries of life. 
They live from hand to mouth, and merely subsist 
without improving their condition, and without hope of 
improving it. The civil freedom which they can here 
enjoy amongst the whites, will be, as it has been, but a 
name^ — ^p. 136, 137. 

What a picture is this, drawn by an American, 
without one effort being made or suggested for the 
alteration of such injustice. But Dr. Chickering is a 
Colonizationist, and Liberia is the panacea for all these 
evils, even in the mind of this celebrated statistician. 



Dr. Chickering adds — Even in some free states, 
where freedom is talked of loudly, and where the desire 
to spread it is no doubt strongly felt, propositions have 
been made, which to us seem to be certain to do harm 
to the coloured race, without conferring any important 
pubhc benefit. It has been proposed to prohibit by 
law their settlement in these States, and to compel or 
reduce to slavery those who shall not, within a specified 
time, quit the territory." — p. 141. "They are every 
where excluded from very many of the more elevating 
and profitable employments. The consequence is, that 
they do and must feel this degradation, and to them 
there is a fife of poverty, of depression, of ignorance, 
and of decay only." — p. 135. 

Other paragraphs of the same kind might be se- 
lected. On all hands and exevy where the poc»r Afiiean 
is under the yoke. When he has escaped from the 
slavery of the land, he finds himself bowed do\m by 
a slavery of prejudice and oppression. One thing, and 
one alone, can nobly emancipate him : it is a well -com- 
bined plan of education, disciphne, elevation, and wealth, 
especially in the United States. Then, then will he 
take his position amongst the people of the earth. Tlie 
southern part of the United States will form a genial 
home for him. He will produce cotton, sugar, and 
rice for the whole world, being the rich white man's 
bailiff and labourer ; or perhaps tilling his own httle 
farm or his plantation. 

There is another view to be taken of this matter. 
The African, as I have said, makes an excellent black- 



smith, carpenter, and builder. Blacksmiths, carpenters, 
and builders are wanted in the United States. Why 
may not the blacksmith, the carpenter, the builder ; 
and why may not the shoe-maker and the tailor ; the 
grocer and the draper ; the gardener and the farmer, 
be — black f 

But the African's talents fit him for higher stations 
and occupations than these. He excels in music, in 
eloquence. He is trustworthy, and faithful and at- 
tached, and is specially fitted to fulfil offices in which 
these virtues are required. 

I propose, however, to devote a letter to the develop- 
ment of the real character of the African race. I 
return therefore to the subject of the second slavery, in 
which the African is enthralled, and of his self- eman- 
cipation from this second slavery in its turn. This is 
to be fully done by education, discipline, elevation of 
character and conduct ; thrift ; acquisitions of know- 
ledge and especially of wealth. How oflen have I 
thought, as I have studied the fate of the poor African, 
of that of the long-oppressed Hebrew nation, and of 
t?iei7' noble Self- Emancipation from every thraldom ; 
and, I must not omit to say, of England's noble con- 
duct towards them, in giving them, however tardily, 
a seat and voice in her House of Commons. They have 
outlived all prejudices, all oppression, all opposition. 
When shall all this be said of the African race in the 
United States ? It has its Bannekers and its Dou- 
glasses, worthy of all honour and of every right, and 
capable of every high function and office. 


In Philadelphia there is an African who is a timber- 
merchant of wealth ; in Cincinnati I saw an African, 
a maker of bedstea»is, who has made an improvement 
in this useful piece of ftimiture, and is the prosperous 
master over a fectory of sable workmen ; in New York 
I saw an ingenious person of the African race, who had 
received a maial from a Society of Arts for an im- 
provement in paint brushes and white-wash brushes ; 
in New Be*ifljrd I saw a blacksmith of the same Afri- 
can race, who had formerly bought a portion of land 
and was negotiating for a secc>nd. 

In a word, it is not the African race that is inca- 
pable of elevation, but the European races which arc 
capable of oppression, who are the real cause of the low 
state of the free coloured persons in the United States. 

Let every effort be made to aid the oppressed Afri- 
can in his self-emancipation from this second slavery. 
He is capable of becoming, as I have said, the finest 
peasantry in the world, and of greater and better things 
than husbandry. As an artisan in iron and in wood ; 
as a builder of houses, of bridges, and of vessels, he 
has indeed afready proved himself not only capable, but 
skihul. As a man and a citizen, he has proved him- 
self trust- worthy ; as a husband and as a parent, mos: 

What then prevents the chivalrous people of the 
southern States from exchanging their institution of 
domestic slavery, with its injustice and its irreligion, into 
a system of free husban«lry, carried on by a free and 
noble peasantry? There wants but the heart, the 



willing mind, the conscientious principle, and a just 
regard to the National honour. 

■X- * * -Sf -X- ^ 

Now let us imagine the slave, at present steeped 
in ignorance and degradation, educated, elevated, and 
made free. As a labourer, a bailiff ; as an artisan ; as 
a farmer, a planter ; as a man, a rightful husband and 
parent ; as a citizen, — he would take his place in the 
United States, and, I repeat, from being its shame, be- 
come its glory. 

In vain I look for ^vc^ principle of opposition to my 
scheme, which, I believe, will be productive of good to 
all. Can the planter be jealous of the men they now 
despise in their forced ignorance and degradation, if 
elevated to their just rank amongst men? 




Slave- Breeding ; its Imynoralities ; the Separation of 
Parents and Children ; dr. 


The average natural increase in number of the 
slaves in the United States is, for each decennium, 28.5 
per cent. But in the decennium between 1840 and 
1850 the increase in Maryland was 0.7 ; in Virginia, 
5,21 ; in KentucW, 15.75 ; in North Carolina, 17,38 ; 
in South Carolina, 17J1 ; in Georgia, 85.85 ; in Loui- 
siana, 45,32 ; in Missouri, 50.1 : in Florida, 52,85 ; 
in Mississippi, 58.74. 

What is the explanation of these statistical facts ? 
The excess of births over the deaths, or the natural in- 
crease, I presume to be nearly the same in all. What 
then becomes of the difference between these numbers 
and that natm-al increase ? It is ' sold south ! ' 

Bom and ' bred' in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, 
the victims of the internal slave-trade of the United 
States are \vrested and dragged from ^heir parents' 
arms, and conveyed and sold into Louisiana, Florida, 
Mississippi I 

You have in these ligures the \ery statistics of this 
enormous crime. In ^laryland, the whole increase, 



minus .7, is sold south ; in Virginia, 28.29 out of the 
28.5; in Kentucky, 12,75 are sold south; in North 
and South Carolina, in general terms, 10. These 
numbers will be found to have passed into Georgia, 
Louisiana, Missouri, Florida, Mississippi, in the pro- 
portions represented by the figures given above, minus 
28.5 respectively. 

Can any one doubt, knowing what is the nature of 
man, that the direst indecencies and immoralities are 
practised for the sake of offspring, and this increase ? 

Would you know at what age that offspring be- 
comes a marketable commodity ? In descending the 
Cumberland River in Tennessee, an English officer, 
bearing Her Majesty's commission, was witness to the 
sale of a negress. Her price was gradually augment- 
ing, when it was announced that she was several months 
advanced in pregnancy ; the biddings then rose at once 
to a much higher figure ! Before the infant is born, it 
is of money value ! 

But now read the subjoined advertisement, cut out 
of a New Orleans paper : 

l^OR SALE— A likely GRIFFE GIRL, or- 
-L phan child, 1 1 months old, will be sold low at 88, 
Philippa street. janl4. F. SCRANTON. 

At eleven months old an infant is offered in the pubhc 
prints for sale ! 

Virginia, too, in which the decennial increase is 
only 5.21, contains the enormous number of 472,528 
slaves, a number unequalled by any other State ; be- 



sides 54.333 free negroes. It also produces little cot- 
ton (3,947 bales), or rice (17,154 pounds), and no 
sugar; whilst South Carolina, which produces 300,901 
bales of cotton, and the unparalleled quantity of 
159,930,613 pounds of the finest rice, possesses only 
384,984 slaves and 8,056 fi'ee coloured people. 

Who does not perceive that the use made of her 
slave population by Virginia is 7iot for the cultivation of 
the soil ? 

I leave the enormity of this crime to your serious 
contemplation — an enormity at once in kind and in 

•3(- -X- * 

The States whose names most figure in the ad- 
vertisements for the sale of slaves in New Orleans, are 
Virginia, North and South Carohna, Kentucky, Georgia, 
and Missouri. The last two seem to be depots for the 
others, since their increase is large. The others are 
plainly ' breeding' States ui the inverse ratio of their 

I send you an advertisement or two of this kind ; 
they cannot fail to interest you deeply : 

New Orleans Slave Depot. 

68 Baronne and 1.^7 Common Street, next door lO Cresvell's old Stand. 

SLA\'ES for sale on reasonable terms, for cash or city acceptances. 
Particular attention paid to consigned Slaves on commission from 
merchants, cotton and sugar factors, and will at all times pay in 
cash the highest price for soimd slaves of every description Hav- 
ing connected to my old establishment the large, commodious brick house 
owned by James Lilly, Esq.. lately occupied by Mrs. Harrison as a boarding 
house, I will be able to accommodate 3U0 negroes for those who may import 


from Virginia, North or South Carolina, Missouri or Kentucky. Accom- 
modations for boarders. And will keep constantly on hand for sale, 
mechanics of all descriptions, house and field servants, and will be receiv- 
ing slaves constantly throughout the season. City guarantees given in all 
sales, if required. Titles undoubted. 

References— Rugely, Blair & Co.; Moses Greenwood & Co.; Charles 
H. Mulford k Co. ; Turner, Wilson & Co.; Hall and Rodd, Purvis, Glad- 
den k Co. ; Payne and Harrison. oct6 — 3m 

Carolina Negroes. 

f THOMAS FOSTER, 68, Baronne Street, between Common and 
Gravier, and 157, Common Street, near Baronne, has just received 
150 likely Negroes, consisting of field hands, black and tin smiths, 
coopers, carpenters, and washers and ironers, which he will sell in 
lots to suit purchasers. 

Will continue to receive 150 Negroes weekly during the season. 
dec20— im 

Thus then the ' breeding' of the human species is 
carried on just as that of cattle is carried on. The 
proceeding begins with irrehgion and immorahty ; it 
proceeds to the eventual separation of parent and child ; 
it leads to the formation and arrangement of those 
gangs or ' coffles' of human beings which pursue their 
course from State to State, from north to south ; and 
lastly it leads to pubHc sales of the young of both sexes, 
for every purpose to which they may be apphed. 

In order that this ' breeding' may proceed unin- 
terruptedly, intercourse must be unrestricted. Holy 
marriage has no existence among the slave population. 
Stroud says, simply and plainly — " A slave cannot 
contract matrimony." (Sketch, p. 61.) Taylor affirms, 
as simply and plainly — " Slaves are not entitled to the 
conditions of matrimony." (Elements, p. 429.) 

* -x- ^ -X- * 



111 stating that there is no maiTiage amongst the 
slaves in the United States, I do not mean that there is 
never such a ceremony as that of marriage ; but that 
there is no legal and fast bond of marriage ; no marriage 
which the master of the slave may not break and 
sunder at his convenience, necessity, or will ; no holy 
and indissoluble marriage, no marriage such as will in- 
stantly follow the emancipation of the slave and his 
elevation to the rank of a man, a citizen, and a hus- 
band, in the sight of God and man. 

The facts which I have detailed are not incom- 
patible ^\^th juster feehngs on this point on the part of 
many of the planters. Of tliis I have been witness. 
TVTien in Savannah, I accompanied one of the most 
estimable of men to visit his estate in the countr}\ 
There an interesting scene occurred. One of the slaves 
was sent for, and his master addressed him thus : 
" ^\Tiat is this I hear of you ? You propose, because 
your is absent for a time in attendance on my 
daughter, to take Nelly to wife ! Let me hear no more 
of this. Your own wife Jenny shall soon return to 

But even from this anecdote it is obvious that the 
poor slave has no idea of the sacredness of the marriage 

■je- ^ * * 

It is obvious that the slave States may, besides the 
division already noticed, be divided into the exporting 
and the importing, the former being the older and 



breeding States ; the latter, the newer and those in a 
state of progressive colonization. 

An excess in the number of slaves, beyond the 
demand for labour, is retained in the slave-breeding 
States for the purpose of breeding — an excess which is 
in demand for labour in the more southern States. 

The very idea of breeding will become extinct by 
emancipation. The parents will pass into the south, 
and their children will remain with them, in or near 
the home in which they are bom. The immorahty of 
slave -breeding, and the cruelty of the separation of 
parent and children, will be extirpated together. 

In Virginia we heard most complaints of the con- 
duct of the slave servants. They were said to be 
" without any sense of shame," and " without natural 
affection towards their offspring," destructive of their 
clothes and inattentive to their duties. Are not these 
the natural effects of the slave -breeding system ? 

The whole subject is fully illustrated by the follow- 
ing Table, which I beg to commend to your careful 
studi/ : 





The Planter omd the Plantation. 

^ -X- -Jf * * * 

The slaves are in the hands of 37,055 planters. 

These gentlemen have been born and reared in the 
possession of slaves. It has probably never occurred to 
them that that possession is an illegitimate one, which 
all conscientious persons who have not been so educated 
see it to be. 

These gentlemen were cradled in the idea that the 
slaves by whom they are surrounded were slaves to 
them to do their every bidding, to serve them, to toil 
for them. 

The planter, infant, boy, youth, and man, has been 
taught that the poor African is a lower race of man, if 
a man at all, doomed of God to be a servant of ser- 
vants," not a person, but a chattel or thing ; and to 
estimate his wealth by their numbers. 

He has long seen that the poor African slave is 
ignorant of the letters of the alphabet, and of every 
kind of Hterature, science, morals, religion ; without 
holy and legitimate marriage, without the rights of a 
parent, without the lowest rights of a man or of a 



citizen ; in the condition of the brute ; and, Hke cattle, 
bought and sold by public or private sale. 

In these opinions the planter, with his brothers and 
sisters, have been born and educated. How difficultly 
are opinions so rooted plucked up ! 

This is in fact the mental slavery and degradation 
of the planter of the southern States. He \-iews labour 
as slavish and derogatory. He is himself a slave to 
this inherent idea. For this reason he is, unhke his 
northern brethren, slow to undertake any enterprise 
involving effort, mental or physical. For this reason 
the very States in which he hves are tardy in the race 
of improvement, and left a century behind those of the 

Unfjrtunately this condition and these opinions of 
the planter are fostered by the very ministers of reli- 
gion, who have not scrupled to make holy writ bolster up 
their views — " the wish being father to their thought." 

The facts and scenes which I described in my last 
Letter, impair the sense of principle, morals and religion 
in the youthful members of the famihes of the planters, 
in regard to the degraded race constantly before them 
in all their degi'adation. This is the natural effect of 
slavery. They have been educated to beheve the 
African a doomed, or different, race of being, fit only 
for that condition in which, in reahty, they have been 
forcibly held. 

I cannot imagine a greater misfortune inflicted on 
a child than such an education. 

The planters are proud and aristocratic ; of high 



honour, according to their estimation of honour ; of 
great hospitahty towards strangers, except when the 
idea of their views of slavery intervenes and interposes 
a barrier to friendly intercourse. 

* ^ * -x- ^ ^ 

I visited plantations on the James River, in Vir- 
ginia ; near Charleston, South CaroHna ; near the Ce- 
metery at Savannah, in Georgia ; on the banks of the 
Mississippi, in Louisiana. On all these, sufficient coarse 
food and clothing and ' cabins,' that is, physical well- 
being, prevailed. I saw nothing of which the slave, 
viewed as cattle, could complain. 

The planter and his family rule, it is true, with despo- 
tic sway. But each slave is of the money value of a horse 
of the highest breed. Do not men take care of their 
horses ? Why should they not take care of their slaves ? 
The former are properly fed and * bedded down,' and 
not neglected or overworked. Why should the latter 
be treated differently ? 

At certain seasons of harvest, if I may use that 
term, the work of the slave is undoubtedly very labo- 
rious. But this lasts but for a season ; and the truth is, 
that the slave, however he may suffer in feeling, is not 
allowed, for obvious motives, to suffer in health. 

The master speaks kindly to his slave. The slave 
replies with the eternal " massa" to his master. 

On many plantations, nothing but kindliness, I am 
persuaded, prevails. 

But there may be cruel masters ; or, what is more 




probable, there may be, in the absenteeism of the 
master, cruel overseers. The latter has no interest in 
the slave, and is only anxious for the productiveness 
of the plantation or farm ; and he is usually a person 
of low education. 

This absenteeism is indeed dreadful in its effects on 
both slave and estate, exposing the former to the mer- 
cies of an underhng, and exhausting or impoverishing 
the latter. 

Undoubtedly slavery might be * patriarchal:' the 
master might rule on his estate mildly. The mistress 
might teach the ignorant slave. But instruction is op- 
posed by Slave- State law. 

Nevertheless, I must say, that all is not cruelty, 
all is not unkindness on the cotton- or sugar-plantation. 

On the other hand, it must also be allowed that 
occasionally the planter, still more frequently the over- 
seer, is irritable in temper, perhaps unreasonable in his 
expectation, and then fearful is the power over fellow 
mortals given into his hands. Cruelty may begin, may 
become systematic. Or the same persons, or their sons, 
may be immoral. 

Once or twice I have heard the planter speak of his 
''people," and I have witnessed the slave appealing to 
his master as to his protector. 

There is — and it would be wrong to deny it — a 
less shadowy side of the picture than that usually 
described in anti-slavery works. But the darker side 
of the picture is dark indeed ! 

The ' village' is the poor slave's world. He may be 



many miles from any other habitation. His ignorance 
must be complete. In the course of my journeyiiigs 
from Richmond, Va, to Montgomery, Al, and in my 
progress down the Alabama, and especially the Mis- 
sissippi, I saw many such isolated villages, separated 
from the world besides. They are to the slave intel- 
lectual prisons in the midst of a State prison of enor- 
mous dimensions. There is something fearful in the 
idea of this isolation. There is somethincr fearful in 


the idea of five hundred beings in the power of one 
man of like passions with themselves ;" and there is 
something still more fearful — in the idea that that in- 
dividual and his family are at the mercy of the slave, 
should he one day be instigated to rebel, by fanatic or 
other ringleaders. There is only one source of safety : 
it is in the emancipation from slavery and ignorance, 
and in the institution of citizenship, w^ith all its rights, 
its interests, its duties, its responsibihties, its loyalties. 



Latitude ; Climate ; Products ; Slaves. 

The products associated with slave labour are prin- 
cipally tobacco, cotton, sugar, and rice. But Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, without a slave, produce 14,658,984 lbs. of 
tobacco. This may, therefore, be separated from the 
special slave labour products, and, for the present, I 
restrict the slave products to cotton, sugar, and rice. 

These are chiefly produced, in the United States, 
within the hmits of five degrees of latitude, from lat. 
30° upwards. This may be viewed as the Slave- 
region ; it embraces Maryland, D. Columbia, Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky ; the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, 
Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Missisippi, Arkansas, 
Tennessee, and Missouri. 

Of these, Maryland and the District of Columbia 
produce no cotton, sugar, or rice ; Virginia very httle 
cotton and rice, and no sugar; and Kentucky very 
little of any of the three. Notwithstanding this fact, 
these States possess their full proportionate number of 
slaves, and Virginia especially contains a greater num- 
ber than any other State ! 



In fact, the most shocking and derogatory view of 
slavery in the United States is attached to the State 
of Virginia, with those of Maryland, Kentucky, &c. 
(see p. 24). Virginia, as I have stated, produces little 
cotton (3,947 bales only), or rice (17,154 lbs.), and 
no sugar ; yet, as I have stated in a previous Letter, 
it contains the enormous number of 472,528 slaves. 
S. Carolina, on the other hand, produces 300,901 bales of 
cotton, and the enormous quantity of 159,930,613 lbs. 
of rice, with 671 hhds. of sugar, and yet contains only 
384,984 slaves, or fewer by 87,544. It is true that 
Virginia produces an immense quantity of tobacco ; 
but it has been already show^n that this does not 
require slave-labour, and by no means explains the 
extraordinary fact which I have laid before my readers. 

With the exception of the fact in regard to the 
number of the slaves and their increase in the Breeding 
States, noticed in a former Letter, that number accu- 
rately coincides inversely with the latitude and directly 
with the quantity of the products. I beg to draw your 
attention to a Table, compiled from th3 Abstract of the 
Seventh Census, full of the deepest interest and im- 
port, and worthy of the most attentive study : — 






OcC'^C^lO'MOr^CC^CltOr-iOOC-— 'COCO 

iOi-"i^X)^coTtti-HOtotoo.-HC^i(Mr^^— 1 




c^i>.c<it^cooiocociCO<:ooO'— iO'MC5C<i 

OC O C: CO Ti^Ci OC^^C^5'*T?^OOOC5CO 
CO wC '"^ 30 Ol CO O C^l 


(MOCO'MX'T^^fMCi— CiOt--l^C5X 

s § 



cx; TO o 
P o 

'/3 O 






bales of 

T*i^OC^S<ICiCOCOO ^co 
O CC CS^O^Tt^^Cvl t^to !>. CO t 

CO lo -TP .— ( ,— 1 

pounds of 


49,960 1 



o ooooooo 
1— t cococococococo 

OCSCSCSXtO'^C^IcqcMi— icOt^XiOC5.-H 

States and 

New J ersey. . . 


D. Columbia . . 


N. Carolina. . . 
S. Carolina . . . 

M ississippi . . . 


Utali Ter 



Whilst the more northern chmates appeal* to be the 
proper domicile of the white man, and recompense his 
labours by its cereals and its more solid products ; cotton, 
sugar, and rice, are the products of the south, — mark the 
appropriate domicile of the negro race, — and become the 
representatives, through a crime and an error, of sla- 
very ! These, in the order in which I have arranged 
them, can best be cultivated by the coloured race of 
mankind. Perhaps one of them, rice, can be effectually 
cultivated by that race alone. 

Whilst the wliite man sinks under the cUmate, the 
toil, the elevated thermometer, the heated atmosphere 
which surrounds him, and the heated soil under his 
feet, the exhalations of vapor and miasmata, the coloured 
man, however his energies may be subdued by them, 
remains in comparative health. Yet even the latter is 
sometimes overcome with — shall I call it languor or in- 
dolence ? — and then, alas I compulsory measures are 
perhaps resorted to, to make him perform his daily 
task. It is in such a climate that slavery has existed, 
and existed in all its enormity, under the sunbeams, 
the overseer, and the lash ! 

Within the limits of seven States there live 2,250,873 
of the 3,204,313 slaves of the United States. 

These slaves perform all the labour of the south, all 
the labour required to produce the cotton, the sugar, 
and the rice of this region. The European race, in the 
same seven States, amount to 6,369,939. 

It is climate then, in its varied influence on the 
animal and vegetable world, on the different races of 


men, and on the products of the soil, which has led to 
freedom in the Northern, and slavery in the Southern 
States and latitudes. These are purely physiological 
results ! 

Climate, products, and slavery are, in the United 
States, correlative. Or rather, the latitude may be re- 
ceived as, in a certain degree, the exponent inversely 
of the products of the soil, and of slave labour. It is 
still a question, whether the white man can bear expo- 
sure to the sunbeams and the toil requisite to produce 
cotton, sugar, and rice, in large quantity, and at those 
seasons when the labour required is periodically both 
most trying in kind and extreme in degree. 

Should it prove a physiological fact that the white 
man cannot efficiently produce cotton, sugar, and rice, 
there is still a choice left, better than that of M. de 
Tocqueville — who asks — " Mais ne pent on pas se passer 
de rizieres?" viz. that between slave negro labour, and 
free ! 

If, as I have heard, the white race of mankind 
cannot produce cotton, sugar, and rice, let us not tempt 
nature in a hazardous or fatal experiment. Let us think 
no more of conducting the Irish or German immigrant 
into South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, &c. 
If their own instincts lead them thither, well and good ; 
but let the course taken be a natural one. Let our 
view be directed not to an artificial change of one race 
for another ; but rather, seeing that the coloured race of 
mankind is suited to the labour, and the labour to the 
race, let us not attempt artificially to change nature's 



laws, but, bowing to them, let us pursue the obvious, 
open, feasible, and rational course of continuing the 
coloured man's labour, but make this labour — free. 

I have ceased to regard the emancipation of the 
negro and the abolition of slavery as a choice. I am 
compelled to regard them as a necessity. It remains, 
therefore, to devise such a plan of emancipation and 
abolition as shall be wise, just, and practicable. Such 
I believe a wxU- digested, a well- organized, and a well- 
executed plan of self-emancipation to be : — w^ith early 
instruction, continued disciphne and training, time and 
experience, the slave will gradually become raised in 
character and conduct, and free ; his future career will 
be in accordance with this discipline, and he will, as the 
white man does, freely labour for hire, prosper, and as- 
cend in the scale of moral and practical excellence. 
But, if any, after tha disciphne of self- emancipation, 
be found idle and thriftless, let severe measures be 
adopted for his correction. Vagrancy is a crime and a 
punishable crime elsewhere, amongst nations deemed 
civihzed. But every day's new inquiries, and my in- 
quiries are renewed every day, convinces me more and 
more that the African race are capable of every good, 
in service, in traffic, and in undertakings ; in thrift, in 
letters, and in arts. In Western Canada, whence 
I write these few lines, the negro frequently occupies 
the land free of rent for three or more years, on condi- 
tion that he clear it ; and he does truly and really clear 
it ! He afterwards perhaps undertakes to manage the 
farm for a part of the produce, and faithfully performs 



his contract. Why should it not be so ? And if the 
negro had the sHghtest participation in the profits of 
labour and harvest, which the slave has not, why should 
he not, like the rest of mankind, exert his energies, 
duly, nobly, and successfully ? At least, let the bene- 
volent experiment be put to a fair trial and proof. 

I cannot look on the facts furnished, in the fore- 
going table, by Ohio and Louisiana, without a thrill of 
admiration. Ohio has utterly repelled slavery from its 
soil, but gives shelter and a home to upwards of twenty- 
five thousand free Africans ! Louisiana, with all its 
need of slaves to labour, having two hundred and forty- 
five thousand slaves, has not less than seventeen thou- 
sand free negroes within its borders ! Whereas, North 
Carolina and Georgia, having each upwards of three 
hundred and eighty thousand slaves, have only given 
shelter to nine thousand and three hundred fi'ee ne- 
groes, respectively. 

There is an inevitable deduction from the facts pre- 
sented by Louisiana, viz. that free labour may take the 
place of the yoke of slavery ! A glorious result ! The 
mean latitude is 81°, and cotton, sugar, and rice 
are produced abundantly ! 

What is wanting in South Carolina and Georgia ? 
Surely not the noble willing mind ? 

M. de Tocqueville, M. de Beaumont, and others, 
have proved that free labor is more profitable than slave 
labor. But I will not offend by suggesting a motive so 
sordid and ignoble, when the honour of a great nation, 



and the morals and rights of three miUions of the 
human race are concerned. 

Again then I say, let the noble experiment of ex- 
changing slave labour for free, and of removing the sin, 
the \\Tong, and the shame of slavery, from the United 
States, be made. Let it be fairly made by Maryland. 
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Ilhnois 
produce together 14,620,188 pounds of tobacco, without 
a slave. Why should not Maryland, which produces 
no cotton, sugar, or rice, produce 21,407,497 pounds 
of tobacco equally without slavery? 

No State has yet produced cotton, sugar, or rice by 
means of free labour. To which State shall the honor 
belong of first accomphshing those worthy objects — of 
setting the example to the world of these products 
yielded to the arm of the free labourer ? 

i\Iaryland enjoys the distinction of possessing the 
greatest proportion of free negroes, compai'ed with the 
slave population, that proportion being as 74,723 to 
90,368. The mean latitude is 39°. My hope is 
next fixed on Louisiana, the proportion of the free 
negroes to the slave there, being as 17,462 to 244,809, 
and the mean latitude 31°. How glorious the day 
and the victory, when that State shall be hailed over the 
whole earth as free ! — and when Tennessee and Ken- 
tuck}% and the Carolinas, and Georgia, and ]\Iississippi, 
shall follow in the sublime wake of emancipation from 
bonds, from ignorance, from moral and intellectual 
degradation ! 



And when the South does emancipate itself and its 
slaves, may it be preserved from that other infliction — 
the unworthy, the unkind prejudices and antipathies 
toward the African race, which survive slavery, and 
are so discreditable in the North. 

Is it not true that the free African may not drive a 
dray at New York, or an omnibus at Philadelphia ? 
But I will not enter upon this topic at the present mo- 
ment. I trust when emancipation does take place, it 
will be such an emancipation as will be worthy of a 
great nation and an enlightened age. 

You will readily discover, without any intimation 
from me, my motives in adding to the other columns of 
my table the number of the "total coloured" and the 
" white" population. Much danger and difficulty have 
been associated with these numbers. But let the ranks 
of the slave be thinned, and let those of the free, the 
educated, the possessor of station and of property, 
&c. be strengthened, and every apprehension will dis- 
appear. Still the numbers in their relations to each 
other, and to the other objects of my table, are of deep 
interest and mom.ent to the poHtical economist. 

It is not by the concealment of facts, but by their 
fair exposition, that they are met, if need be, by a re- 
medy. I have at least shown that I myself am not 
blind to such as might present danger. I am persuaded, 
in the clear view of them all, that a gradual self- 
emancipation will both effect the noble object in view 
and be safe and beneficial to all parties. 




Progress of Emancipation in the North, the Effect 
of Climate. 

The first glimpse of emancipation from slavery in 
the United States, connects it with cHmate and the 
products of the soil. The details of this emancipation 
are still alUed to the same events. If emancipation has 
been arrested in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, it is 
because another element has entered into the problem. 
The slave has not been retained in these States on ac- 
count of labour alone. When the demand for the 
African diminished or ceased in them, it was discovered 
that it was augmented in the South, and sales soon 
demonstrated that it was profitable to produce, when 
the plantations ceased to employ, the slave. 

I think it will be but too obvious that emancipation 
has been the result of natural causes and not of bene- 
volent design. But, I proceed : 

The United States may be divided, in regard to 
slavery, into the firee States and the slave States. But, 
besides this general division, it is easy, on a careful in- 
spection of the census tables, to perceive that there is 
good foundation for a further and minuter division 
into — 



1. The ever free, 2. The speedily freed. 3. The 
slowly freed, 4. The oscillatory. 5. The slowly in- 
creasing. 6. The rapidly increasing. 

It is remarkable that even these minuter character- 
istics of the different States, in regard to slavery, also, 
bear an exact relation to the latitude of those States. 
The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and 
Massachusetts, within the latitudes of from 41 deg. to 
42 deg. may be said to have been ever free from slavery; 
one of these. New Hampshire, having once, indeed 
(viz. in 1790), owned 158 slaves, a number which was 
reduced to eight at the following census, in 1800, and 
thenceforth disappeared altogether. Once too (in 1790), 
Vermont owned 17 slaves; but this State, at the next 
and every subsequent census, has been without the taint 
of slavery. These four States may therefore be dis- 
tinguished as the ever free. I speak, of course, of the 
period intervening between 1790 and 1850. 

Next follow the States which have speedily and 
rapidly freed themselves from the stain of slavery. 
These are, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. 
These States He, generally, between the 41st and 4ord 
degrees of north latitude, though the last extends to the 
45th degree. These States, possessing, in 1790, a 
considerable number of slaves, now take rank amongst 
the free States, or those which I designate and distin- 
guish as the speedily freed. 

The examples of the ever free States, or of the 
speedily freed, have been followed by Ohio, Michigan, 
Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, all lying beyond 



the 38th degree of north latitude, with the exception of 
a small part of Illinois. 

Next come the States which have slowly freed 
themselves from slavery. These states are Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey. If New Jersey still numbers 225 
slaves within its limits, these are " apprentices" by the 
State Act of 1846 to aboKsh slavery, and they will in 
due time all be free. 

The numbers of the slaves in Pennsylvania were, 
in — 

1 1790 ( 1800 i 1810 1 1820 i 1830 j 


1 1850 i 

1 3,737 i 1,706 1 795 | 211 | 403 ! 


1 6 I 

The similar numbers for New Jersey 


in — 

1 1790 t 1«0U 1 1810 i 1820 1 183U ; 

1840 j 

1850 1 

1 11,423 1 12,422 j 10,831 | 7,657 | 2,254 j 

674 1 

225 j 

Of these States, the former occupies a latitude be- 
tween 40 and 42 degrees ; the latter between 39 and 
41 degrees. 

Two of the States I have designated as oscillatory. 
These are the District of Columbia and the State of 
Maryland. They are situated between the latitudes of 
38 and 39^ degrees, and the varying numbers of 
slaves, which they have included at various periods, are 
given in the following table : — 




1840 1 






1810 j 






D. Columbia 
Maryland. . . 

CO 00 

5 ^ 

CO g 




o ^ 

CO g 

5 s 

>^ o 
^ o 

■5 5^ 

CD M O! 

r-i «2 

^ C3 

-5 fe^ S 

^ ^ ^ 


■5 CO 

0? 5:JD _a 

s ,2 


-2 S 

(11 -Hj 

1 rl 

^ ^ c5 

.Si ^ 

g 3 



2 1 ^ 

§ 3 eg S 




aC r-J (M -Tl ^ .-H 

CO OC O >— ' GC OC CM 
U5 O w O 

(M C<l CO CO CO C<l 

t>. cc 1^ OC CO 

CC O i-'O i-H CO 

ci^c^i o^ac^o^c^T^ 
zc c<r co" ucT yT 

rr" I— .— I CO CO CO r-( 

CO CO 1-H i-i ^ X 

r- O O O CO oc 

J>. C^l O o 

o o CO .— I —I o 

^ ^ ^ <M CO C^l ^ 

lo w o x c; o 

CO CO C5 l-O 'T w 
^ .-I CO CO ^ 

GC — I t.'j 'T*' UO CC O 

.— ( cr; CO c^j ^ o 
^o; X CO CO to 

O CO ^ CD — 

c; cc C5 i-O! o 

CO O CO r-l ^ 

CO I-( .-H 

O Ir^ CO 
C^l CO — I d o 
^ X -r' ^'2 O CO 

.^1 ill si 

f-i O C2 =J 
O 5-. .CJ 

tS? I— ! 

S ^ o 


^ "-^ ^ c3 c3 

:3 'oQ 'oQ 




The Abolition Mo-cement. 

•5f -Sf -x- -X- -Jf -X- 

It will have been seen by Table II, that during 
the past half- century the number of the slates in the 
United States has uninterruptedly and rapidly aug- 
mented, and that the number of the so-called free 
Africans has still more rapidly diminished. Yet, during 
this same period, the Abolition Movement has exerted, 
not to say exhausted, all its energies. Under its 
auspices, slavery has increased, liberty decreased ! 

Is it not time then to bethink ourselves of some 
new and different mode of aiding the three millions and 
a half of our poor African brethren enslaved in the 
United States? 

Now, the aboHtion movement has consisted in a 
system of attacks on the planter and on the State legis- 
latures. The effect produced was natural. It is not 
in our nature to be driven. 

About a quarter of a century ago, there was a 
movement, both in the Virginia and Kentucky legis- 
latures, to abolish slavery. That movement was going 
on to a successful issue, and these would probably long 



ago have been added to the number of the free States, 
had it not been thwarted by the violent abolition agita- 
tion of that moment. Of these facts I have been 
assured and re -assured, by gentlemen of great know- 
ledge and accuracy ; one of these being an able and 
amiable judge, residing m Cincimiati. Since that date, 
those legislatures, in which the cause of emancipation 
had been carried within two or three votes, have not 
permitted the question to be mooted in their assembly. 
Tliese gentlemen are not to be goaded and driven : but 
they are perfectly susceptible of a spontaneous, generous 

Table II, to which I have already refeiTed more 
than once, demonstrates that the decennial increase of 
the numbers of the free African hasgi'eatly diminished; 
indeed, between 1790 — 1800, and 1840 — 1850, from 
82.28 to 12.47. It i§ an affecting question, in what 
degree this dimmution is positive, aiising from the 
misery of the free ; and negative, arising from emigra- 
tion, and from the diminished numbers of the manu- 
mitted and the frigitive. 

Other questions present themselves. Are the plant- 
ers' minds towards their slaves viOTe or less kindly 
than before ? Are the slave States' legislatures more 
or Jess lenient or severe ? Are the fetters of the poor 
slaves more or less heav}" ? Are education and per- 
sonal hberty more or less denied to them? I be- 
heve that, in all these respects, the case of the poor 
slave has been aggravated by the ^dolent but vain 
efforts of the abolitionist. 



I have conversed with many southern gentlemen 
freely ; at least, freely eventually. I found their minds 
uniformly exasperated at the first, and uniformly op- 
posed to any innovation ; but, afterwards, open to rea- 
son. By some, the idea of self- emancipation was 
accepted, I will not say with cordiality, but cer- 
tainly with candour, as I represented the sin, the crime, 
and the curse of slavery, and the feasibility of self- 
emancipation, the capabihties of the African race under 
the influence of education, and the difference in profit, 
honour, and safety, between a number of slaves, obvi- 
ously becoming overwhelming, and what I venture to 
pronounce — the finest peasantry in the world. 

In considering the important question of abolition, 
or rather of emancipation, one idea always presents 
itself to me : it is the absolute necessity for education 
and elevation. Without these, freedom would be but 
license, and worse than useless. AboHtion without 
education would be unfair towards the Afi'ican race. 




The Colonization Movement, 

■Jf ^ -vf 7f -5^ -jf 

There are many things in the scheme of Coloni- 
zation to commend it to the heart of the philanthropist ; 
a return to his own home, amongt his own race, offered 
to the expatriated African ; civilization sent across the 
Atlantic to a benighted nation and his own brethren by 
his means ! It is not possible to realize these objects 
without a thrill of satisfaction. 

But these schemes relate to those who have 
either attained, or are about to attain, to that second 
slavery of which I have witten to you, not to the 
slave, not to the slavery and the slaves in the United 

Since the dawn of the plan of Colonization to 
Liberia, that is, during thirty years, ten thousand free 
Africans have emigrated from the United States ; but 
they have left three millions and a half of slaves in 
bondage behind them. 

During the year ending with March 1854, 783 
emigrants embarked for Liberia — an increase of 200 
upon the preceding twelve months ; the relative in- 



crease being greater for that year than for any one of 
many preceding years, as will appear by the following 
table : 

Year ending April 1, 1847, 3 vessels, 39 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1848, 3 vessels, 213 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1849, 5 vessels, 474 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1850, 6 vessels, 596 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1851, 5 vessels, 279 emigrants sent 
Year ending April 1, 1852, 6 vessels, 568 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1853, 6 vessels, 583 emigrants sent. 
Year ending April 1, 1854, 6 vessels, 783 emigrants sent. 

But what are these hundreds compared with the 
millions in slavery, with their rapid increase ? Abso- 
lutely nothing ! Let us not be beguiled then by this 
benevolent scheme. Let it accompHsh all possible good 
to a few of the free of the African race in the United 
States, and by their means to numbers in the country 
of their fathers ; but let us not forget for one moment 
the millions of that race still in bonds, and still near 
our own homes. 

I fear the colonization scheme has, like the aboli- 
tion, not been without its baneful influence on the poor 
unhappy African race in the United States, and espe- 
cially that portion in what I have called the second 
slavery of those States. 

I am compelled to say what I believe to be the 
truth, — that the Colonization Society is the calumniator 
of the African race ! 

I will illustrate these painful facts by two brief 
extracts : 



Free blacks are a greater nuisance than even 
slaves themselves." — Afr. Rep. ii, p. I83. 

" It were better to have them left in chains''' (this is 
true indeed), than to have them hberated to receive 
such fi-eedom as they" (the free of the African race) 
" enjoy ; and greater freedom we cannot, must not 
allow them!" — Afr. Rep. iii, p. 197. 

If we were constrained to admire so uncommon 
a being" (as a pious, highly cultivated, scientific 
negro), our very admiration would be mingled with 
disgust" (witness the mixed race over the United 
States I), ''because in the physical organization of his 
frame, we meet an insurmountable barrier even to 
approach to social intercourse, and in the Eg}^tian 
colour which nature has stamped on his features, a 
principle of repulsion and a strong feeling, as to forbid 
the idea of a communion of interest or of feeling, as 
utterly abhorrent!" — Afr. Rep. vii, p. 331. 

In this manner the Colonization Society may convey 
a few hundreds of \hQfree Africans from their real to a 
fancied home ; but it binds the chains of the second 
slavery of the United States still more firmly round the 
limbs of the thousands who remain! 

The first two Articles of the Society are these : 

Art. I. This Society shall be called the American 
Society for colonizing the free people of colour of the 
United States. 

Art. II. The object to which its attention shall be 
exclusitely directed, is to promote a plan for colonizing, 



with their consent, the free people of colour residing in 
our country, in Africa, &c. 

But let us see how this ^ consent ' is obtained : 
"The subject of the colonization of the free blacks is 
now beginning to receive that attention which it de- 
mands " our Southern brethren are making rapid 
movements towards abridging the privileges of this 
class, even to banishment. ( ! ) We of the north are 
adopting extraordinary means for removing them, 
by prohibiting them from holding property, excluding 
them from the protection of the law, and denying them 
any rights whatever." ( ! ) Message of the Governor 
of Indiana to the Legislature. 

The favorite doctrine of the colonizationist is, that 
" two races which cannot amalgamate by inter- marriage 
can only subsist in the same land in the relation of 
master and slave, or oppressor and oppressed." Do 
not the Hebrew and Gentile races all over the world 
live together, without inter-marriage, and, thank God, 
recently, and more and more, without the alternative 
of " oppressor and oppressed ?" Well has the former 
vindicated his claim to citizenship. One day the 
African will, I trust, do the same ! 

If you wish to study the question of coloniza- 
tion perfectly, I would beg you to peruse the several 
writings of Mr. J. B. Latrobe, of Baltimore, and of 
Mr. William Jay, of New York. The former are per- 
fect specimens of eloquence. The recent volume by the 
latter, entitled Miscellaneous Writings on Slavery," 
constitutes a treasury of knowledge and argument, and 



should find its place in the hbraiy of everi/ one vrho 
cai'es for his oppressed brother and fellow man of 
African origin. 

It must now be admitted that abohtion has had its 
trial, and has signally failed ; and that colonization is 
inadequate, if ever intended, to accomphsh the emanci- 
pation of the slave. It is time, therefore, to have 
recourse to some new and sufficient anti-slavery mea- 

But, admitting all that has yet been said in favour 
of colonization, 0}ie thing, and that the most important 
of all, is and has always been lacking — education, pre- 
par at ion. How can the uneducated cany the arts, 
civihzation, religion, or any good thing to a benighted 
people ? It is difficult to believe in the sincerity of the 




Project of Self' Emancipation ; of the Skcce ; of the 
Planter ; of the States ; of the Nation, 

^ ^ ^ ^ 

It is but too ob\dous, from the facts which I have 
laid before you, that the Slavery in the United States 
is not limited to the slave. The yoke extends to the 
owner of the slave. Slavery, like a dire miasma, ex- 
tends its influence to the planter's family, lowering the 
perceptions and feehngs of head and heart towards the 
Ah'ican race. 

I regard abolition as unjust towards the slave- owner^, 
and colonization as unjust towards the free but oppressed 
African. The just emancipation is that which cares 
for both owner and slave, and for both slave and free. 

I never could imagine man having property in man. 
But in the mode of emancipating the slave, I may 
surely care for the interests of the master. And if 
my mode of proceeding also prepares the poor slave 
for the just use of liberty, I think I shall effect a 
double good. 

If I take from the slave- owner, without loss, an 



ignorant and degraded slave, and replace him by an 
intelligent labourer, elevated in mind, body, rank, and 
powers ; if I remove a horde of slaves, and replace 
them by a fine peasantry, at once faithful and loyal, I 
shall have conferred no common benefit. And all this, 
I am persuaded, the project of self- emancipation will 

And now it will plainly appear that my appeal 
must be made, not to the pubhc, except for aid in my 
project, but to the planter and to the slave -state legis- 

It is now a penal crime to teach the poor negro to 
read or write. Let this derogatory law be rescinded, 
and let arrangements be made for his education and ele- 
vation. Let the same thing be permitted, nay accom- 
plished, for him, as is accomplished for the peasantry 
elsewhere. Let the Bible be accessible to him ! Let 
him be prepared and qualified to carry on a little 
occupation, shop or farm, if he should ever attain to 
one. Let the way to greater elevation be open to him. 

And, instead of his daily task, let fair task- 
work be appointed him ; and when this is done, let the 
privilege of overwork be granted to him ; let a fair 
minimum value be put upon him, and let that sum be a 
legal payment for his freedom. Let Savings' banks be 
organized for small sums, granting the highest rate of 
interest; and when these sums amount to a certain 
proportion of the whole sum, let the rest be added by 
the Federal and States Governments, and Societies in 
Aid ; and let the slave he free I 



Let self-emancipation thus be placed fairly within 
the power of every Negro slave. Let the slave, by 
this mode of emancipation, pass from the condition of 
slave to that of a hired sermnt; or let him, if he prefer 
it, emigrate. Let the Negro slave be further assisted 
in his emigration to Liberia, his fatherland, thither to 
carry back with him the knowledge and blessings of 
civilization, of freedom, and of industry ; and, may I 
not add, of holy religion ! But above all, let him be 
freely permitted to remain, as a servant for wages, in 
the same place and under the same master, where he 
formerly wrought as a slave under the lash. Let us 
see which proves the more profitable to the planter ; no 
one will doubt which is the happier to the poor African, 
which is the more honourable and safe to the United 

The object of this suggestion is, not that of imme- 
diate and total emancipation, reckless of consequences 
to both owner and slave. It is that of a self, yet aided, 
emancipation; gradual, progressive, and finally com- 
plete ; combined with the simultaneous disciphne and 
elevation of the Afi-ican race, repairing, and more than 
repairing, the wrong which has been done to it. 

Even under existing circumstances, it occasionally 
occurs that the negro slave effects his own emancipation. 
This is achieved, however, through years of toil, of self- 
denial, and almost of despair. Let us help the negro, 
then, m these his noble, praiseworthy efforts ; let the 
legislatures, and let the philanthropic public extend 



their aid to these strugglers for self- emancipation from 
slavery, for liberty, and for the rights of men. 

This plan is based on the character of the individual 
negro himself: 1st, on his own desire for freedom ; 
2nd, on his own industry, frugaUty, and habit of sav- 
ing; 3rd, on the best kind of education, viz. thrift, 
self-dependence, and self-control, &c. : to this kind of 
discipline and education, other education of every useful 
kind, viz. reading, A^Titing, and arithmetic, &c., manu- 
factures, trades, letters, and even science,, being super- 

In this manner the property of the slave-owner, 
all disputes about its right or wrong being discarded, is 
respected ; the rights of the coloured man are restored ; 
being free, he will still continue to cultivate the rice-, 
the coffee-, and the sugar-field ; and what further good 
will not be achieved in relation to progi*ess, morals, reli- 
gion! — marriage at least will be legalized and made 
holy, and indissoluable at the will of man. 

Let us compare emancipation of an unconditional 
kind with this self-emancipation. Unconditional eman- 
cipation would set many a negro slave free who after- 
wards would not possess the ability or the conduct to 
take care of himself, and who would suffer from hunger 
and want, and be guilty of intemperance, perhaps of 
crime. Self-emancipation will begin with a training 
and discipHne which T\'ill entirely obviate such cala- 
mities. Unconditional emancipation would deprive the 
proprietor both of his property in the slave and of the 



labour of his slave. Self- emancipation, such as has 
been described, will do neither; the value of the 
slave will be paid to the owner ; the free slave will 
continue to serve his former owner, if kind, as a ser- 
vant does his master, for a just and proper hire. Un- 
conditional emancipation would leave the infirm \vith- 
out support. Self- emancipation will, at the first, not 
include the infirm ; but, afi:er a time, these will come 
to be cared and provided for, as the free labourer is 

To this suggestion I propose respectfully to beg the 
attention of the fi'iends of the African race and the 
American people. I know how many propositions 
to effect emancipation have failed, yet venture, not 
without some hope, not to say confidence, to suggest 
yet one more. Happy the day when the healthy and 
able African slave may, if he will, achieve his own 
emancipation, and exchange his lot and condition from 
those of the bond- slave to those of the freeman ! and 
in that very achievement fit himself for freedom, for 
paid service, for industry, or for enterprise. 

Some would neglect even the opportunity of doing 
what is here proposed. They are the indolent, the un- 
thrifty, the senseless, to whom freedom would be no 
boon, and its glorious privileges no joy ; but others 
would toil for the desired prize with an enthusiastic 
zeal. In either case, the black spot and the reproach 
forced slavery would be removed from this land, now 
of partial, then of perfect freedom. 

In aid of this philanthropic scheme, let the bene- 


volent contribute their money and exert their influence 
and efforts. Let a " Society in Aid of Self-emanci- 
pation'' be instituted, the ^ory of the whole world, 
an^ especially of America ! Let all who love Hberty 
and right — let all who admire and would preserve the 
greatness of the United States in their union and in 
their glory, lend a helping hand, first to mitigate, and 
finally to extirpate the evil, the wrong, and the shame 
of slavery! 

* -x- * * * 

I have already adverted more than once to the 
extent of meaning which I affix to the expression 
* self-emancipation.' I am persuaded that it is not 
by any effort of the North, but by a noble and generous 
movement in the South, that the emancipation of the 
slaves and the abohtion of slavery in the United Stafes 
must eventually be achieved. The great , work must 
be a work of 5^^- emancipation. 

The chivalrous people of the South must see ai^ 
feel the sin, the wrong, the error, and the shame "i)f 
slavery, and, raising tiieir voice, call upon the North fcr 
AID in the noble and difficult task of uprooting apd 
abohshing it — the want, the work, the reward belig 
alike their o\vn. ;! 

I am persuaded that all this is and will be acknow- 
ledged by the Southern people and States eventually. 
It is with this conviction, with this feeling, that I shall 
briefly revert to the wrongs of slavery, which are not the 
\^Tongs of the slave only, but of the slave-owner. I 



sympathize with both. Is it possible that any pain 
endured by the slave, which is chiefly physical at most, 
can surpass the poignancy of mental anguish experi- ^ 
enced by the inflictor of such pain, when, in secret, in 
the silence of night, on the bed of sickness, he medi- 
tates on the wrongs in which he has, perhaps very un- 
willingly and remotely, been the inflictor ? 

Jefferson, the owner of slaves, said, " I tremble 
for my country" (and he might have added — for my- 
self and riiy family) " when I reflect that God is just," 
(and again he might have added — that He is holy and 
righteous), and " that his justice cannot sleep for ever." 

Having begun in mom-stealing y slavery has continued 
the perpetuation of the -svrong. It involves a system 
of unholy and sinful adultery — of unions of the sexes 
without marriage, of separations contrary to the ex- 
press law of God, of second unions, &c. It deprives 
our fellow men of the rights of parents, of citizens, of 
men ! Who can be partakers in such things and not 
"tremble?" Wl^o, then, in his^ heart, does not de- 
voutly wish to be emancipated from such guilt, from 
moh slavery ^ For what is the sinner but the slave of 

^-^I am not writing t homily, but plain and simple 
truths. Again I ask, who would deliberately choose to 
hve — and die — or have his children born — and left — 
slaves in such bonds as these ? JFor we all know that 
" .God is not mocked," and that he hath said, " ven- 
^ance'is mine," and that, as we sow, so shall we reap, 
ejteept that for the wind we shall reap the whirlwind. 



Who can endure these thoughts? Let us then 
make a strenuous effort and achieve a noble self-eman- 
cipation from them. Great and sad is the bondage of 
the poor negro slave ; greater and more sad is that of 
the slave -owner. There is one mode of escape from 
both. It is that of a well- devised and well-executed 
plan of self- emancipation for the negro slave. None 
but the planters can accomplish all that is implied in 
such a plan. Let them, then, in a noble and generous 
spirit, make the first experiment, and know assuredly 
that in emancipating the negro slave, they emancipate 

Let the first self- emancipated negro slave become 
the overseer. Let the next be paid for his labour ac- 
cording to his industry. Let every reward be assured 
for good conduct. Let laws, and severe laws — ' a rural 
code' — be enacted against idleness or vagrancy ; and let 
every unjust law be rescinded. 

Let education, discipline, a pure and holy rehgion, 
just rewards, and just punishments, do their work. 
Let us free, and raise, and guide the poor negro, and 
God will bless us in our good work ; and let us remem- 
ber that in emancipating him from his yoke, we really 
emancipate our country, and ourselves and our children 
from a yoke still more galling and fearful. 

As slavery is assuredly the dark spot on the United 
States, the absence of marriage — such marriage as is 
holy and indissoluble — is the dark spot on slavery. It 
is a national sin. It is a sin in all that are in any wise 
partakers in it — in the master more even than in the 



slave. It is not possible during such a state of things 
to avoid the dreadful denunciations of Holy Scripture 
against it. He therefore who deliberately, from whatever 
motive, sanctions slavery in the United States as it is, as 
deliberately renounces the religion of Christ ! I cannot 
say less, and more fearful words cannot be written. 

You will now perceive all that I comprehend in 
the objects of self- emancipation. It is, first, that of 
'the negro slave from slavery, by efforts greatly his own, 
but aided by the government, both State and Federal, 
and by the philanthropist. It is that of the poor negro, 
slave or free, from ignorance, degradation, oppression. 
It is that of the slaveholder from the guilt of sin 
against God and of sin against his fellow man. It is 
that of a great nation from a national sin, crime, and 
shame. And now I picture to myself the fields of 
Georgia and of Louisiana, and other southern States, 
cultivated by free labour ; the negro race raised from 
bondage, from ignorance, from oppression ; the southern 
planter from the worse bondage of sin and guilt. How 
glorious will that spectacle be before the whole world ! 
A nation emancipating its slaves, its people, itself, 
from slavery ! 

I have not, in this letter, deemed it incumbent on 
me to discuss the question whether the marriage rela- 
tion can exist amongst slaves or not. Judge Jay says : 
" A necessary consequence of slavery is the absence of 
the marriage relation." Thus, slaves live in adultery, 
and this by and with the consent or order of their 
masters, who therehy become " partakers " in their sin. 



But if the marriage relation do exist, then, "whom 
God hath joined let no man put asunder." But the 
ouTier of slaves does put the married asunder, when 
he sells the husband or the wife to the north or the 
south. And I can imagine nothing more essentially 
blasphemous than the Satanic doctrine of the ministers 
of the Savannah River Baptist Association, in reply to 
the query whether parties so married and so separated 
may marry again ; viz. 

" Tliat such separation is, civilly, a separation by 
death, and they believe that, in the sight of God, it 
would be so viewed." 

I trust the day is not far distant when each 
slave-owner will say : "0 my soul, come not thou into 
their secret !" 

f'or what saith the Lord, the supreme Judge of the 
whole earth? "The words w^hich I say to you the?/ 
shall judge you in that day and " if a man putteth 
away his wife," &c. 

To the gentlemen of the South, I would appeal in 
the awful words of an Apostle — " Wliether it be right, 
i7i the sight of God, to obey man rather than God, 
judge ye ;" and in those of a Prophet, I would conjure 
them — " Come ye out and be ye separate, and touch 
not the unclean thing." 

Or rather, legislate for the self-emancipation of 
your own negro slaves, your country, and yourselves ; 
accomplish it duly, wisely, progressively ; let not a day 
pass, without giving to them the holy institution of 
marriage ; and let not a day pass without beginning 



the good work of their education, elevation, discipline, 
and preparation for freedom, and for the privileges and 
the duties of citizens. 

The God of battles hath favored the cause, and 
fought the battles of American independence. Will he 
not favour the good cause of the poor African crying to 
Him for justice too ? 

There is something beneath the dignity of man and 
of a great nation in enacting laws, the object of which 
is to inflict on a part of its people a degrading igno- 
rance. It is such a cowardly and ignoble thing, that I 
cannot beheve that the high-minded and chivalrous 
people of the southern States do not writhe under it. 
To them I would therefore say — Emancipate your- 
selves from such a derogatory thraldom. 

But the question assumes a graver aspect when it 
is considered, not in relation to mere knowledge, but to 

It is grievous to think that 3,204,313 of people are 
forcibly deprived of the privilege of reading and writing 
even — ^that it is a crime to teach these simple letters. 
But it is more than grievous to know that free and open 
access to the sources of instruction in holy rehgion are, 
in remote districts, cut off from them. This is not only 
grievous but fearful. He who said, " Go into all na- 
tions and preach the gospel to every creature," will be 
our righteous Judge, and all hearts will be open to Him. 

I appeal to the gentlemen of the South, to effect 
their o\m emancipation from unholy, unrighteous slave- 
ownership, because they alone can accomphsh this great 



object. Others may aid, but they must achieve the 
victory over slavery, a yoke which is not less upon them 
than on the poor negro, and more guiltily. Theirs is 
at once the duty and the power, and theirs only. Their 
emancipation must be 5^//- emancipation. 

The foreis^ner, their fellow-citizen of the world, the 
Federal government, the philanthropist, may and will aid 
and assist ; but the great and righteous work must be 
their own. The States possess the legislative and 
executive power of the States; the slave-owner pos- 
sesses the power over his own slaves to deal with them 
as he will, whether for their thraldom or their freedom, 
whether for their wrong or their right, whether to confer 
on each his own wife and child, or to \s4thhold them and 
sell them whither he may never go to see them more — 
' cause ' him to commit a fresh adultery and share and 
more than share his guilt. 

To these gentlemen I would say — emancipate your- 
selves and emancipate your wives and your children, 
the inheritors of your estate, from such slavery and 
guilt. Let the deed and the reward be your own ! 

I might now appeal to the northern States and to 
the nation at large. But which of these does not feel 
that the national honour, and, if we beheve in the 
righteous judgment of God, the prosperity of the 
United States, are involved in the extinction of unjust 
and sinful slavery from the land? To the chivalry 
and the honour of its people, the appeal cannot be 
made in vain. 

I will never lower the dignity of my subject by 



discussing its relation to profits. I will only say that 
it is demonstrable that free labour is more economical 
than that of the slave. But I revert to the honour, the 
right, and the religion of the question ; and I call on 
the American people, from the North to the South, and 
in the length and breadth of the land, to achieve their 
own, their self- emancipation from the sin, the wrong, 
the error, and the shame of slavery ! 

In doing this, I do not disguise from myself the real 
difficulties of the task before us. 

He who would effect the emancipation of the negro- 
slave in the United States, must devise the means of 
accompHshing the following objects : 

He must provide safely for the gradual emancipa- 
tion of 3,204,318 of negro-slaves in the midst of the 
Anglo-Saxon race; he must provide that the labour 
now performed by these 3,204,313 of negroes be still 
well and duly performed. This must be accomphshed 
under a burning sun, in a malarious atmosphere, 
and on a soil which the white man can scarcely bear, 
but which the negro supports with impunity. 

It must not be forgotten that the experiment of 
sudden emancipation in Jamaica was an utter and 
melancholy failure, and that some wiser and safer plan 
must be devised. It must be seen that the idea of the 
emigration and colonization of the 3,204,313 negroes 
of the United States, with their continued offspring, in 
Liberia, is an utter impossibility, the numbers alone 
being considered; and it must be remembered that 
these 3,204,313 of people are not generally willing to 



go and leave their new, their native, and their adopted 
country. It is certain too, that the place of these 
8,204,313 negroes could not be taken in the cotton-, 
the sugar-, and the rice-fields by the white race of man- 
kind, ever, and certainly not in less than centuries of 

What then is the remedy for so much evil and 
wrong in the midst of so much difftculty ? I can per- 
ceive none, except self-emancipation, in the enlarged 
sense in which I have taken and explained that ex- 
pression — its education, its discipHne, its elevation of 
the negro race ; the exchange of his labour as a slave 
for his paid services as justly hired ; the liberty of freely 
advancing himself in the scale of society, and of re- 
maining, like the Hebrew nation, in the midst of another 
race of men, yet separate ; a self- emancipation on the 
part of the slave-holder too, and on the part of the 
American people ! 

Such are the sources to which we must look for 

emancipation. The question now presents itself — 
what are the other sources to which we may look for 
aid in the work ? 

The northern States, already self- emancipated, 
will not withhold their powerful aid, the Federal go- 
vernment will not be less ready and energetic. " In 
the month of August, 1620, a Dutch man-of-war 
entered James' River, and landed twenty negroes for 
sale, forming the sad epoch of the introduction of negro 
slavery into the Enghsh colonies." But it is to England, 
to whose legislation, fostered by royal favour, and en- 



forced for a century by each successive ministry, it is 
due, that one- sixth part of the population of the United 
States — a moiety of those who dwell in the five States 
nearest the Gulf of Mexico, are descendants of Africa. 
It is to England, then, that we would look for the readiest, 
chiefest aid in this great and noble enterprise. 

Let a Society in Aid of Self -Emancipation from 
Slamry in the United States be forthwith formed, into 
whose ranks let the just, the philanthropic in England, 
and in the northern States, the energetic, the noble, 
and the rich of the land, crowd, with open heart and 
hand. Let this Society correspond and consult with the 
planters of the South, and let plans and laws for educa- 
tion, and discipHne, and guidance, and coercion if need 
be, both before and AFTER self- emancipation, be devised 
and enacted. 



The Trrhfes ■ thp Chart. 

I HAVE already adverted to the influence of early 
education. It is said that the planter, bom and bred a 
planter, can scarcely appreciate the feelings of the 
stranger who contemplates his brother man in the con- 
dition of saleable property and of abject slavery, or the 
indignation of nations blessed with really free institu- 
tions, at the contemplation of a 'pecuHar' and 'domestic' 
institution, by which miUions are kept under the gall- 
ing yoke of despotic power and compulsory ignorance. 

The United States never can take rank amongst the 
nations of the earth, whilst it retains the institution of 
slavery. This I say especially of the south ; but I 
also affirm the same thing of the second slavery of the 

I now beg to recall your attention to the TcM , 
at pp. 14 — 15 : 

The * whites,' or the European race, ai'e seen in 
the tables to have augmented their numbers regularly, 
during the seventy years which have elapsed since the 
year 1780. This augmentation, which amounts t' 



about 35.5 per cent., consists of the natural increase and 
of immigration ; and these are supposed by Dr. Chick- 
ering to be about 25 and 11 per cent, respectively. 

By a careful examination of the tables, it will be 
seen that the numbers of the slaves, in the South, are 
pretty nearly half those of the European, even now 
that there is no foreign slave-trade, and therefore no 
immigration. Their natural increase is, on an aver- 
age, about 28.5 per. cent, per decennium. 

It is difficult to say how long and to what an ex- 
tent the immigration of the European into the United 
States may continue. But there is every reason to 
suppose that, as long as the institution of slavery en- 
dures, the natural increase of the slave vAll remain as 
it is ; and I have already adverted in former letters to 
the inevitable tendency of that increase to overwhelm- 
ing numbers in the south. 

I here ask you a fearful question : Is this fact one 
of retributive justice ? 

The slave, kept free from care and almost fi-ee from 
the exercise of his intellectual, emotional, and moral 
powers, sinks below the condition of man, and becomes 
' sleek and fat,' hves a longer zmintellectual and mere 
animal life, and multipHes his kind as cattle do. 
Providence designed man for other offices besides those 
of the beast of burden, and has appointed the number 
of his days. Man, in the case of slavery, has lowered 
his brother's condition and fi'ustrated the decree as to 
his length of life and numerical increase. 

God ordereth all things well, and bringeth good out of 



evil, — even out of war, famine and the plague, and the 
anxieties and cares of tliis life. 

But to take our fellow men by violence, and keep 
them m ignorance, and feed, clothe, and house them as 
cattle, and, as cattle, lead him to breed, is obviously 
unnatural and wicked ; and the justice of God is retri- 
butive. " It is impossible but that offences w^ll come ; 
but woe unto him tlirough whom tliey come.'' Jeffer- 
son said — " I tremble" (adding, needlessly) for my 
country, when I think of the justice of God." 

I know not whether the augmented numbers of the 
poor slaves be such as I have suggested ; but I know 
that slavery is wicked, unjust, and unnatural, and 
therefore I venture to suggest that it will be right in the 
sight of God, as of all good men, to convert it into free- 
dom, and slave labour into free ; the oppressed slave 
into a loyal fellow citizen. 

But the next Ime of these tables is still more affect- 
ing ; the increase of the free African, which was 82 i 
per cent, in the decennium between 1790 and 1800, 
became dimuiished to 72, between 1800 and 1810; 
to 25i between 1810 and 1820 ; and to 36f , 20|, and 
12^-, in the three successive decennia between 1820 and 
1850 ; — the effect of diminished manumissions fr'om the 
first slavery, in the south, and of the cares and anxieties 
of the free coloured men, under the cruel and unnatural 
yoke of the second slavery of the United States, in the 
north, not less than in the south I 

My object in these letters, is to state facts simply, 
rather than to educe from them an elaborate argument. 



I therefore leave these facts and these tables to your 
serious contemplation. That they display the elements 
of future calamity, unless this be averted by timely 
justice towards the injured African race, must be obvious 
to every candid mind. The remedy is to confer edu- 
cation, freedom, holy marriage, parental rights, the 
rights of the citizen, the rights of labour, the rights of 

One word relative to the little chart, which I now 
send you. The depth of its shades denotes the degree 
of slavery; that is, the number of slaves in each 
State. It is defective in not portraying that other 
second slavery, to which I have now often ad- 
verted. How shall I hail the time when the United 
States shall shine, with the stars on their own flag, 
undimmed by any shade, and, most of all, by that of 
slavery and injustice inflicted on their own children. 

To revert to the tables, you w^ll find that num- 
bered III, to denote the gi'adual diminution and even- 
tual disappearance of slavery from the States desig- 
nated free. And if this fact had been unattended 
by another, viz. the first slavery replaced by the 
' second,' — I should have spoken of it as the glory of 
the United States, and should have represented the 
stars of the free States, in the banner of the United 
States, as shining with undimmed lustre. 




Religions in the United States ; the ' Friends ; ' 
the Methodists ; the Baptists. 

There are, according to the Census of 1850, no 
' Friends ' in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the 
chief ini'porting States, and very few in the slave States 
in general. 

This respectable class of the people have uniformly 
maintained their opposition to slavery. This opposi- 
tion has unfortunately always assumed the form of 
abohtion ; and I have already stated my opinion of this 

I must also add, that, if the ' Friends' have uni- 
formly opposed slavery, they have rarely, to whatever 
cause the fact may be ascribed, ranked amongst their 
numbers, the African slave. ^ 

I have no means of ascertaining whether the free 
of the African race become members of this society ; 
but I believe such cases to be extremely rare. Why 
is this so? 

It is to the Methodists and the Baptists that the 
poor enslaved African seems to flock. But I fear their 
honour is diminished by the countenance these bodies 



give to slavery itself ; admitting its authors or abettors 
into their number. 

Two things are in fact required of those who would 
maintain the semblance of religion : the first, that they 
hold no community with slavery or the slave -owner ; 
the second, that they open their portals wide to the 
poor slave, or the so-called free person of colour. 

I do not purpose to enter more deeply into this 
question. A better system of the census is required, 
in order that we may judge rightly in regard to it. 
We must not only be informed of the number of the 
several congregations, but of their character and colour. 
Do the white and black, the slave and the free, worship 
together? — for there is assuredly no respect of per- 
sons before God. Or, — Are they held separate even in 
His house, and in their grave ? 

It would also be most desirable to be informed of the 
testimony borne by them against slavery respectively. 

On this sacred subject I have much to say to you ; 
but I postpone it to another opportunity. I think it 
but right to add however, that in this matter the 
Roman catholic appears to me to have been more con- 
sistent than the episcopalian and the presbyterian. 

The touch-stone in all this m.atter is the question 
of marriage. On this question the Baptists of Savan- 
nah must ever stand self-condemned. (See p. 68.) 
And I can have no hesitation in stating that he, who- 
ever he may be, who sanctions a marriage dissoluble at 
the will of man, repudiates in the same act all preten- 
sions to the name of Christian, 



I know the extent of this allegation. Neverthe- 
less it is tru-e. 

I repeat, I am not wTiting a homily. But of tliis 
I am assured — All, of every nation and of every colour, 
will appear together and without difference before the 
judgment seat of Christ ! 

VMien all who profess religion in the United States, 
shall see and feel the iniquity before God of United 
States slavery, with its deprivation of education, of 
holy marriage, of parental rights, that slavery will 
cease ! It is a question of pure and true religion. 





Self- Emancipation : its Effects ; its Picture. 

-if * ^ -jf -x- 

I WILL now try to describe to you the picture 
which will be presented by Self- Emancipation. 

The African race in the United States will be edu- 
cated and elevated. 

They will constitute families which no power of 
man can sunder ; the husband and wife will be indis- 
solubly and holily bound together; their offspring will 
be their owti, bound to them by parental and filial 
bonds. The father will no more behold his beloved 
child, his daughter it may be, become the property of 

The labourer will value a good place, a kind master. 
He will take pride in his well -furnished cottage, a mean 
' cabin ' no longer ; in his little garden, and most espe- 
cially in his tidy Sunday attire. His very nature \^^ll 
appear changed. 

If thrifty, he will put part of his earnings into the 
Savings' bank ; perhaps purchase a cottage or a little 
land, and so possess a stake in the country and 
have his children educated. 

Some may even realize greater things ; wealth, 




property, position ; and become ' the finest peasantry 
in the world f farmers, planters; artisans, builders, 
engineers ; school-masters, editors, authors. 

M. de Tocqueville and Dr. Chickering forebode 
calamity as the necessary result of slavery in the United 
States. I venture to hope that that calamity may be 
averted by changing slavery with its dire injustice, into 
freedom with its rights and privileges. The injured 
slave might, when his numbers are augmented, contend 
wdth his master. With every right, a people of proved 
faithfulness and loyalty, with their families, their home, 
their country, will be the safe-guard and protection of 
the European race. 

The odious cow-hide, the whip and the paddle ; 
the handcuff and the coffle ; the public sale of human 
beings, will cease and be forgotten, with slavery and 
all its indignities. 

The African will take his placa in the United 
States as a Man ; the Ethiopian will raise his hands 
to God'' 

There are facts which afford the experimental proof 
that emancipation need not imply either amalgamation 
or extreme oppression. In Maryland, there are 74,723 
free Africans, in the midst of 90,368 slaves, and 
417,943 of the European races. I have not heard 
that, of all the United States, Maryland is the most 
disturbed. Pennsylvania contains 53,3^3, and Ohio, 
25,319 free Africans. I never heard that they w^ere 
other than peaceful and worthy citizens, submitting 
quietly to no little injustice. All that is required, is — 
to enact just and equal laws ! 




Kidnapping in the Free States^ and Abduction to the 

* * -X- -Jf -x- * 

You must not imagine, because the external slave- 
trade has ceased, — and it is but just to say that the 
United States took the glorious initiative in this matter 
before all the nations of the earth, — that kidnapping 
has no existence. 

What more natural than that the free coloured 
person in a northern State should be violently seized 
and conveyed to one of the slave States f 

The coloured person without papers is deemed a 
slave. Such a person may be seized, robbed of his 
papers, and sold into slavery. 

Such events are constantly related in the public 
papers, and in works of authentic truth. 

I myself once paid a visit to the house and home of 
a coloured person three miles distant from a market 
town, in a northern State. It was evening, the master 
was from home. The children opened the door to me, 
and flocked round me, telling me where I might find 
their father. I afterwards learnt that they were 



alarmed, suspecting me of a design of carrying one or 
more of them away ! 

As long as the African race have a marketable 
value in the United States, such events must and will 
take place. As long as a Fugitke Slate Law exists, 
men will be found, stealers of men, who will not only 
search out the fugitive, but seize the free. 

The following extracts will serve to illustrate the 
present subject. The first is from the New York 
Tribune : 

" In an obscure corner, and the obscurest type of 
The New- Orleans Delta, appears the following : 

First District Court — Judge Larue. — 
Tacquette f w. c, vs. W. M. Lemheth and Mrs. Harris. 
This was a case in which the plaintiff sought to recover 
her freedom. She declares she was legally manumitted 
in 1840, and continued to enjoy her freedom till near 
the beginning of 1845, when she was seized and put in 
jail by defendant, Lembeth, and afterwards carried to 
his plantation, where she has been compelled to work, 
until March, 1852, when she was sent to this city. 
She sues to recover her freedom, 3000 dollars damages, 
and 25 dollars per month since she has been detained in 
defendant's service. On hearing the case, Judge Larue 
gave judgment, decreeing the plaintiff to be free, but 
allowed no damacres or waojes. 

" Here is a free American woman, seized as a slave 
in 1845, and kept in bondage eight years on a planta- 
tion. Enabled finally, by what means the above state- 
ment does not explain, to get a hearing in a Court of 



Justice, the judge at once pronounces that her pretended 
master has no right over her, or in other words that 
he has kidnapped her and deprived her of hberty for 
that period. The upright and learned judge gives no 
damages to a woman for being deprived illegally of her 
liberty for eight years ! " 

The second extract is from the Cincinnati Times : 
" Outrage at Louisville. — Some time since, 
a little coloured girl, named Mary Jane Scott, of this 
city, visited New Orleans with her uncle, to see an aunt 
who resided there. After finishing her visit, she was 
placed in charge of Mr. D. Anderson of this city, who 
was then in New Orleans with his family. The party 
took passage on the steamer, R. H. Winslow, Capt. 
McGill, and had a pleasant and unannoyed passage 
until their arrival at Louisville. The Winslow stopped 
a short time at that place, and without the knowledge 
of Mr. Anderson, several police officers boarded the 
boat, and, against the protestations of the clerk and 
captain, carried the little coloured girl off, under the 
plea and pretence that she was a fugitive slave. 

" She was taken before a court in Louisville, and 
committed to jail until her friends could prove her free- 
dom. To do this it was necessary to come to Cincin- 
nati. An attorney was employed and sent down with 
the necessary documents, and she arrived here yester- 
day morning. Besides the anxiety and vexation to her 
friends, it has cost them about fifty dollars to procure 
her release. It is said one of the passengers on the 
Winslow caused her arrest by reporting her to the 



" The individual who took it upon him to go to the 
police for this purpose, having no interest m the case, 
save the hope of shaiing in the reward, if she proved 
to be a slave, must be destitute of principle and every 
feeling of humanity. We understand he belongs to 
the South, and is at present prowling about our city, 
perhaps f:>r the purpose of ensnaring more of our colored 
citizens. They will do well to be on the look-out for 

How many are kidnapped in the north, and con- 
veyed forcibly and surreptitiously to the south, and there 
irretrievably sold into slavery, never to be heai'd of 
more, who shall say ? 

Our asylums for the insane, are, for fear of a simi- 
lar perversion, systematically visited by commission- 
ers. What commissioners penetrate into the prisons 
of Alabama, Louisiana, and ^Missisippi? 

I leave the rest to your imagination. I am almos: 
sick at heart with my task, and wish it was finished ! 

" In the spring of 1 889, a coloured man was arrested 
in Philadelphia, on a charge of having absconded from 
his owner twenty-three years before; and, unless he 
could find witnesses who could prove his freedom for 
more than this number of years, he was to be torn from 
his wife, his children, his home, and doomed to spend 
the remainder of his days under the lash. Four wit- 
nesses of the claimant swore to his identity, although 
they had not seen him for twenty-three years I By 
a most extraor<iinary coincidence, a New- England 
Captain, with whom this negro had sailed twenty -nine 



years before in a sloop from Nantucket, was at this 
very time confined in the same prison for debt, and his 
testimony, with that of some other witnesses who had 
known the man previous to his pretended elopement, so 
fully established his freedom, that the court discharged 

A few years ago, a girl of the name of Mary 
Gilmore, was arrested in Philadelphia, as a fugitive 
slave from Maryland. Testimony was not wanting in 
support of the claim ; yet it was most conclusively 
proved that she was the daughter of poor L'isk parents, 
having not a drop of negro blood in her veins ;" that 
she was an orphan, and " had been kindly received and 
brought up in a coloured fajiiily I Hence the attempt 
to make a slave of her." 

It is of course difficult to ascertain the extent to 
which kidnapping is carried. In a work pubHshed by 
Judge Stroud, of Philadelphia, in 1827, he states that 
it had been ascertained that more than thirty free- 
coloured persons, mostly children, had been kidnapped 
in that city within two years." — Sketch, p. 94. Jay 
on Slavery, p. (591. 

In a word, kidnapping will and must continue as 
long as men, women, and children have a money value 
and are a marketable commodity, and there are thieves 
in the world. 




Pro 'Slavery Hypotheses: the African Slave the 
Descendant of Ha rr. : distinct in Species from the 
European; dr. 

It is not without interest to consider the various 
pleas or hypotheses of the pro-slavery mind of the 
slave-holder, to satisfy his conscience, in reality ill at 
ease, on the subject of slavery. 

The first of these is actually founded on Scripture. 

Ham, who was the father of Canaan, had behaved 
with less honour towards his father intoxicatai with 
wine, than Shem and Japheth : And Xoah awoke 
from his wine and knew what his younger son had 
done to him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan ; a ser- 
vant of servants shaU he be to his brethren. And he 
said. Blessed be the Lord G«xl of Shem ; and Canaan 
^ shall be his servant. God shaU enlarge Japheth and 
he shaU dwell in the tents of Shem ; and Canaan shall 
be his servant." Gen. ix, 24 — 27. 

Now, who is presumptuous enough at this pericKi 
to affirm who are the descendant^ of Ham, and who 
the descendants of Shem and of Japheth ? Or rather , 
who is presumptuous enough to say that the European — 
the Anglo-Saxon and the Celt, are the decendants of 



Shem and Japheth, and the African negro race the 
descendant of Ham, the father of Canaan ? And who 
shall presumptuously say, what it is to be ''a servant 
of servants and that slavery, and such slavery as 
exists in the United States, without holy marriage and 
without the honour which a child is enjoined to show to 
his father and mother, is precisely that condition entailed 
upon Canaan when he was doomed to be "a servant of 
servants to his brethren ?" 

It is really beneath the dignity of the subject, and 
little less than sacreHgious, to notice farther such a per- 
version of holy writ. But I may add that in the brief 
descriptions of Noah's faniiily, it is four times stated 
that it consisted of Noah and his wife ; and of his 
three sons and their wives. How then did it happen 
.. that Shem with his descendants were white, and Ham 
and his descendants jet black ? 

But admitting that these things were pre-ordained 
by the determinate council of God, what has presump- 
tuous man to do with them ? " It is impossible," saith 
Scripture, but that offences will come ; but woe to 
him through whom they come," Luke xvii, 1. 

Others have attempted to prove that slavery is 
sanctioned by Scripture. 

It is quite true that slavery is permitted in the Old 
Testament, and that unresisting submission, except 
when the law of Christ forbids, is inculcated in the New. 
But in what Scripture is United States slavery, with 
its degradation and its adultery, permitted ? — in what 
Scripture is dissoluble marriage or polygamy permitted? 



— in what Scripture is man- stealing, and the sepai'ation 
of husband and wife, and of parent and child, by sale, 
permitted ? 

Let us be assured that no such iniquity and crime 
is sanctioned by Scripture. 

There is no end to such subterfuges. Some pro- 
slavery minds have contended that the African is a 
lower race of man than the European, or of a lower 
order of being than man ! 

I should not notice this perversion of the truth, if I 
did not perceive that, however it may be sincerely 
adopted by some erring philosophers, it has an oblique 
and sinister and not very generous bearing on the 
question of slavery, in the pro- slavery mind. 

No hypothesis of difference of origin, race or spe- 
cies, or by whatever other name it may be named, can 
take from the African people that which they have 
•nobly earned for themselves, a well-founded reputation 
— for gratitude, fidelity, loyalty, of all which truthful 
biography and history record innumerable instances ; — 
for ability in commerce, in the useful arts, in agricul- 
ture, of which living instances abound ; — for mathe- 
matics ; for music and eloquence ; and for military 
genius, and political ability and integrity. 

Be they, or be they not, of the same, or of a dif- 
ferent, race or species from the proud Anglo-Saxon, no 
man of truth and sincerity can deny that they have 
given proof of manly virtues ; and my own conviction 
is that they are calculated, and I trust they are destined, 
to form, one day, in the United States too, their home 



equally by birth and by choice, — the finest free pea- 
santry in. the world. 

This is sufficient for my present object. In a future 
Letter, I propose to discuss, still more at length, the 
character of the African, slave and free, for I do not 
limit his capability to such pursuits as are merely 
worthy and useful ; and I cannot even now pass over the 
fact that an African once calculated, for several years, 
the difficult and laborious problems of an almanac, and 
that another rose to military distinction as the liberator 
of his people and the protector of his country. 

Who then can for a moment dispute the talents and 
humanity of such men ? 

It is not unusual to hear persons speaking of the 
Providence of God in ordaining that the poor African 
should be carried into American slavery, in order that 
he may one day carry back American civiHzation and 
religion to his barbarous and benighted forefathers ! 
Civilization and rehgion ! What civilization and reh- 
gion does the poor African slave learn in the heart of 
the southern States of Georgia, of Alabama, of Loui- 
siana, of Mississippi? 

Another idea which is frequently propounded by 
the slave-owner, and with more truth, is, that there 
is something 'patriarchal' in the relation between the 
master and his slaves. I have witnessed this myself 
with the utmost satisfaction. 

There might be much more of this kindly rela- 
tion. If, for example, instead of merely feeding, 
clothing, and lodging the poor slave in his degradation 
and ignorance, the master had him taught the elements 



of knowledge, inculcating every moral virtue, every 
relative duty towards his wdfe, his children, his country. 
Let us henceforth frame a patriarchal institution indeed. 
Let us frame an institution based on instruction, dis- 
ciphne ; holy and indissoluble marriage ; fi-eedom ; in- 
alienable rights. 

Lastly, another hypothesis, for it is a hypothesis, is 
that involved in the project of the expatriation of the free 
African to Liberia. This idea is distinctly one of the 
pro-slavery mind. It originated in the slave States of 
Virginia and ]\Iaryland ; and the idea of a generous and 
general emancipation is, I am now convinced, foreign to 
it. The true idea attached to this scheme is one of rid- 
dance of a people against whom an insensate prejudice 
prevails, and of a supposed benefit, not to them, but to 
the United States. Any benefit to the African here or 
in Africa must be secondary and accidental. That the 
free Afiican may carry civihzation and religion to his 
forefathers, he himself must first be systematically 
educated, disciplined, and civilized ; and this essential 
preliminary step has been hitherto violently opposed. 
That fii'st step is embraced, for the first time, in the 
institution of — self- emancipation. 

There is one aspect of the question in regard to the 
African race which always shocks me by its sheer hy- 
pocrisy. Every thing is ' an ordination of God !' That 
the poor African should be brought to the United States, 
in order that he may, though kept forcibly in the dark- 
est ignorance, carry back civilization and religion, is — 
an ordination of Providence I 




Free- State Legislation : the Black Act of Connecticut ; 
the Black Laws of Ohio, of Illinois ; <Scc, 

It is but just that each State should, according to 
its various legislation, be presented before the nations, 
for respect or for censure. 

In general the northern States have freed them- 
selves from slavery. To their honour let this be recorded. 
But there remains the second slavery to which I have 
many times adverted ; and I fear that, confronted with 
this second slavery, the free States, so called, have 
much occasion to blush for sham.e. 

Connecticut, Ohio, and Illinois, of the free States, 
have most disgraced themselves in their legislation 
against the African race. 

The ' Black Act ' of Connecticut was aimed against 
the education of children of the African race. It was 
enacted in 1833. It was regarded as execrable, and 
has been repealed. Its history is given in eloquent 
and indignant terms by Mr. Jay"^. I wish I had space 
for every word. 

* Writings on Slavery ; 1854; p. 39. 



And, especially, I wish I could adequately extol 
the conduct of that martyr to the cause of the educa- 
tion of African female children, ]\Iiss Crandall. 

For her benevolent efforts this heroic lady was per- 
secuted, fined, imprisoned, and finally had her house 
pulled down and her school dispersed — in the free 
State of Connecticut I 

And these persecutors are the first to calumniate 
the poor African, and the most energetic advocates of 
colonization ! They would first deprive him of educa- 
tion and discipline, then speak of him as ignorant, 
degraded, and idle, and then export him to some 
distant land. 

To the same eloquent \mter^ I refer you for the 
account of the odious legislation of Ohio, in reference to 
the African people. 

As the Black Act of Connecticut was aimed at the 
education of poor African children, the legislation of 
Ohio was intended to oppose the quiet residence and 
occmyation of the African race within the State. 
Though not repealed like the Black Act of Connecticut, 
this law was found too execrable to be generally en- 
forced. Together, they present a deplorable picture of 
despotism and cruelty. 

It is pitiable to see Illinois imitating the example 
of Ohio in recent ' Black Law ' enactments. 

From Jefferson to ]\Ir. Latrobe the idea prevails that 
the ultimate emancipation of this race is inevitable, and 

* P. 376- 



yet that it is impossible that the European and African 
races should live under the same government and on 
the same soil. M. de Tocqueville and Dr. Chickering 
agree that there is an inevitable danger of servile 
war to the southern States from the rapid increase of 
the African race within their limits. 

I am persuaded that these events are only true, if 
the African race be kept in bondage or treated with in- 
justice. Let emancipation, and especially self- emanci- 
pation, with its self-discipline, be accomphshed ; and let 
justice towards the emancipated African be done ; and 
then what motive will remain for animosity or revolt ? 
What self-interest will be wanting to preserve peace 
between the two races ? None. None. 

Does the husband, the parent, the citizen, with 
every right, and the quiet possession of a cottage, a 
garden, a farm, usually turn rebel against a just and 
liberal government ? 

Do these Africans require more than justice? Does 
the slave require more than a just liberty ? — or the so- 
called free, more than equal laws, and protection, and 
civil rights, with the European ? Let every American 
answer these questions truly and faithfully. They are 
addressed equally to the north and the south, — and 
not less against oppression than against slavery itself, — 
not less against ' Black' legislation than against slave- 
holding, slave-breeding, and slave -selling. 

It is against injustice, not against justice, that the 
human heart and spirit revolt. 




Emancipation ; witJiout Amalgamation ; a Necessity. 

A STRANGE idea has seized the minds of many 
writers and pohticians — that emancipation of the Afri- 
can race cannot take place without its amalgamation 
with the Em'opean. 

This idea was announced by Jefferson. It is re- 
peated by M. de Tocqueville, Mr. Latrobe, &c. I 
regard it as a mere hypothesis, like many others of 
which the calumniated African is the victim. 

I have been much with individuals of this race, in 
Canada, in the free States, and in the slave States ; 
and I may add, that I and those who were with me 
never felt that we could not associate with them on 
friendly terms. 

There is no such antipathy towards the free Afiican 
in Canada, nor towards the slave in the south ; why 
should it exist in the so-called free States ? It does 
not exist in the English breast ; why should it exist 
in the American? It did not exist when the free 
African was fighting America's battles, in the revolu- 
tionary war, when the white and black soldier messed 
together ; why should it exist in peace, when his aid is 
no longer necessary ? 



The hypothesis and the feeling are equally, in my 
opinion, unworthy of a great and good people. 

Time was when the Hebrew nation were so treated 
by other nations. No amalgamation has taken place 
between them, and yet the Hebrew has nobly vindi- 
cated his right to citizenship. 

I repeat that I regard the antipathy of the Euro- 
pean towards the African as unworthy. I view it as 
an injustice ignobly depriving him of education and 
employment, property, and a home in the United 
States. It is a feeling which true religion would 
effectually obhterate. 

A friend of mine, of the Hebrew nation, formerly 
practised as a barrister in Jamaica. Two friends of 
his, who were also barristers, and possessed of exalted 
talent, w^ere of African descent. What then is the 
meaning of this absurd prejudice towards the same 
people in the United States, a prejudice tinctured, I 
must say, with no nobleness, generosity, or philan- 
thropy ? 

Let all tyranny and despotism cease; give the Afri- 
can education and opportunity; let him acquire the 
rights of a husband, a father, a citizen ; let him ac- 
quire wealth and station ; and then w^e shall hear no 
more of all this antipathy and calumny. As the He- 
brew nation has done before, and does still, the African 
people will marry amongst themselves. They will, at 
the same time, by their faithfulness and their loyalty, 
secure the good opinion of those by whom they are at 
present unjustly despised and persecuted. 




Such an event appeal's the more desirable. At , 
the same time it must be remembered that Jefferson 
himself had no such antipathy towards the African 
as to prereni his having a family of mulatto chil- 
di'en. And it is well known that the best blood of 
Virginia flows in veins sold in the Rotunda at New 

In every case, eventual emancipation must be re- 
gai'ded as a necessity, Abeady there are 3,412,238 of 
the African race, 238,187 free, and 3,204,051 slaves, 
amongst 6,222,418 of the European. The increase 
of the slave is more rapid than that of the European. 
Emancipation — Yes, ^^//-emancipation must come. It 
is for the slave-holder to make that emancipation at 
once safe and beneficial to all. 

Let injustice be continued to the poor oppressed 
African, and it will one day lead to revolt and senile 
war. Let justice be done to him, and he will repay 
it by — loyalty ! 




Character of the African; Banneker ; Toussaint ; 
the Soldier o/* 1814 ; &c. 

I HAVE carefully studied the character of the 
African people ; and I am persuaded that they are 
capable of great things. 

Hitherto this race has been entirely deprived of 
education. In Africa they had it not. In the United 
States they are actually and expressly deprived of edu- 
cation bi/ law 1 What is the character of any people 
without instruction ? Look at the iUiterate Irishman ; 
yes, and at the ilhterate Englishman ! Is he one jot 
above the African slave ? 

In the very ignorance of slavery, the African is 
docile, kindly, attached to a kind master, faithful. 

When emancipated from slavery, the African, in 
spite of the want of education, frequently becomes re- 
spectable, in the lower ranks of occupation ; viz. as 
a waiter, a coachman, a white-washer, a carpenter, a 
blacksmith, a gardener, a farmer, — in a word, as 
artisans and as peasantry. 

Aided by education, which is frequently self-edu- 
cation, the African becomes a worthy preacher, accord- 



ing to his knowledge, eloquent, pathetic. To this I can 
bear personal testimony. I once attended, as a mere 
looker-on, a chapel in Baltimore, and heard, from black 
lips, a beautiful account of the life of Christ. I once, 
in Hke manner, attended the ' African church ' in Rich- 
mond, and heard from a warm African heart a most 
touching prayer. 

I need scarcely advert to the talent of the African 
for music. This is universally acknowledged. 

But the African is capable of other and higher 
achievements. Of this I shall adduce an example or 

The first of these is that of Mr. Benjamin Ban- 
neker, who, though but self-educated, for several years 
calculated an Almanac. I have not seen a copy of 
this work. But it was noticed, with approbation, by 
Pitt, Fox, and Wilberforce, in the British House of 
Commons. To it, the following letter of its author to 
Mr. Jefferson, with this gentleman's reply, refers ; and 
I think all unprejudiced men will pronounce it admir- 
able. Who will, after this, deny that the African race 
is capable of great things ? 

Maniand, Baltimore Comity, Near Ellicott's Lower Mills , 
August 19, 1791. 

Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State. 


I am fully sensible of the greatness of that freedom which I take 
with you on the present occasion ; a liberty which seemed to me scarcely 
allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified station in 
which you stand, and the almost general prejudice and prepossession 
which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion. 
I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, 



that we are a race of beings who have long laboured under the abuse and 
censure of the world, that we have long been considered rather as brutish 
than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments. 

Sir, I hope I may safely admit, in consequence of that report which 
hath reached me, that you are a man far less inflexible in sentiments of 
this nature than mAiy others, that you are measurably friendly and well 
disposed toward us, and that you are willing and ready to lend your aid 
and assistance to our relief from those many distresses and numerous 
calamities to which we are reduced. 

Now, Sir, if this is foimded in truth, I apprehend you will readily em- 
brace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas 
and opinions which so generally prevails with respect to us, and that 
your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are that one universal 
Father hath given being to us all, and that he hath not only made us all 
of one flesh, but that he hath also without partiality afforded us all the 
same sensations, and endued us all with the same faculties, and that, 
however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in 
situation or colour, we are all of the same family, and stand in the same 
relation to him. 

Sir, if these are sentiments of which you are fully persuaded, I hope 
you cannot but acknowledge, that it is the indispensible duty of those 
who maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who pro- 
fess the obUgations of Christianity, to extend their power and influence to 
the relief of every part of the human race, from whatever burthen or op- 
pression they may unjustly labour under ; and this, I apprehend, a full 
conviction of the truth and obligation of these principles should lead 
all to. 

Sir, I have long been con\-inced, that if your love for yourselves, and 
for those inesteemable laws which preserve to you the rights of human 
nature, was founded on sincerity, you could not be but solicitous that 
ever^^ individual, of whatever rank or distinction, might with you equally 
enjoy the blessings thereof; neither could you rest satisfied, short of the 
most active diffusion of your exertions, in order to their promotions from 
any state of degradation, to which the unjustifiable cruelty and barbar- 
ism of men may have reduced them. 

Sir, I freely and cheerfully acknowledge, that I am of the African 
race, and in that colour which is natural to them of the deepest dye, and 
it is under a sense of the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler 
of the universe, that I now confess to you, that I am not under that 
State of tyrannical thraldom, and inhuman captivity, to which too many 
of my brethren are doomed ; but that I have abundantly tasted of the 
fruition of those blessings, which proceed from that free and unequalled 
liberty with which you are favoured, and which, I hope, you will wil- 



lingly allow you have received from the immediate hand of that Being, 
from whom proceedeth erery good and perfect gift. 

Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time, in which the arms and 
tyranny of the British Crown were exerted with every powerful effort, in 
order to reduce you to a State of Servitude ; look back, I intreat you, on 
the variety of dangers to which you were exposed ; ^flect on that time 
in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope 
and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you cannot 
but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and pro- 
vidential preservation; you cannot but acknowledge, that the present 
freedom and tranquillity which you enjoy you have mercifully received, 
and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven. 

This. Sir. was a time in which you clearly saw into the injustice of a 
State of Slavery, and in which you had just apprehensions of the horrors 
of its condition, it was now. Sir, that your abhorrence thereof was so ex- 
cited, that you publicly held forth this true and valuable doctrine, which 
is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages. *' We 
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and 
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unahenable rights, 
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." 

Here, Sir. was a time in which your tender feelings for yourselves had 
engaged you thus to declare, you were fhen impressed with proper ideas 
of the great valuation of liberty, and the free possession of those blessings 
to which you were entitled by nature; but. Sir, how pitiable is it to 
reflect that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of 
the Father of mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of 
those rights and privileges which he had conferted upon them, that you 
should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud 
and violence so numerous a part of my brethren under groaning captivity 
and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of 
that most criminal act which you professedly detested in others, with 
respect to yourselves. 

Sir, I suppose that your knowledge of the situation of my brethren is 
too extensive to need a recital here ; neither shall I presume to prescribe 
methods by which they may be relieved, otherwise than by recommend- 
ing to you and all others, to wean yourselves from those narrow pre- 
judices which you have imbibed with respect to them, and as Job pro- 
posed to his friends, Put your souls in their souls stead," thus shall 
your hearts be enlarged with kindness and benevolence toward them, and 
thus shall you need neither the direction of myself, or others, in what 
manner to proceed herein. 

And now. Sir, although my sympathy and affection for my brethren 
had caused my enlargement thus far, I ardently hope that your candour 



and generosity will plead with you in my behalf, when I make known to 
yau that it was not originally my design ; but that, having taken up my 
pen, in order to direct to you as a present, a copy of an Almanac, which 
I have calculated for the succeeding year, I was unexpectedly and un- 
avoidably led thereto. 

This calculation, Sir, is the production of my arduous study in this 
my advanced stage of life ; for, having long had unbounded desires to be- 
come acquainted with the secrets of nature, I have had to gratify my 
curiosity herein through my own assiduous application to astronomical 
study, in which I need not to recount to you the many diflBculties and 
disadvantages which I have had to encounter. And although I had 
almost declined to make my calculation for the ensuing year, in conse- 
quence of that time which I had allotted therefor being taken up at the 
Federal Territory, by the request of Mr. Andrew Ellicott, yet finding my- 
self under several engagements to printers of this State to whom I had 
communicated my design, on my return to my place of residence, I in- 
dustriously applied myself thereto, which, I hope, I have accomplished 
with correctness and accuracy, a copy of which I have taken the liberty 
to direct to you, and which I humbly request you will favourably receive • 
and although you may have the opportunity of perusing it after its 
publication, yet I chose to send it to you in manuscript previous thereto, 
that thereby you might not only have an earlier inspection, but that you 
might also view it in my own hand-writing. 

And now, Sir, I shall conclude, 

And subscribe myself with the most profound respect, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. Banneker. 

Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, Philadelphia. 

N.B. Any communication to me may be had by a direction to Mr 
Elias Ellicott, merchant in Baltimore Town. 

B. B. 

Mr. Jefferson's Answer to the above Letter. 

Philadelphia, August 30, 1791. 


I thank you sincerely for your letter of the 19th instant, and for 
the Almanac it contained. Nobody wishes more than I do to see such 
proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to our black brethren talents 
equal to those of the other colours of men, and that the appearance of a 
want of them is owing merely to the degraded condition of their exist- 
ance, both in Africa and America. I can add with truth, that nobody 



wishes more ardently to see a good system commenced for raising the 
condition both of their body and mind to •vrhat it ought to be, as fast as 
the imbecihty of their present existence, and other circmnstances which 
cannot be neglected, will admit. I have taken the liberty of sending your 
Almanac to Monsieur de Condorcet, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences 
at Paris, and Member of the Philanthropic Society, because I considered 
it as a document to which your whole colour had a right for their justifi- 
cation against the doubts which hare been entertained of them. 

I am with great esteem. Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

Tho. Jbffebson. 

Mr. BzyjAiiiy BAyxEKEP., 
Near Ellicort's Lower MDls, Baltimore County. 

Having adduced the example of Baimeker in proof 
of the ability of the African race in the exact 
sciences, I now proceed to cite the case of an African 
of pure blood, tTie Negro Patriot of JSaijti, having 
the genius of* the soldier, combined with the disin- 
terestedness of the citizen. As a soldier indeed, Tous- 
saint L'Ouverture has been compared to Napoleon ; 
both as a soldier and as a citizen, he might, except in 
his misfortunes, be compared to our own Welhngton, 
or with Washington. 

Toussaint was bom in 1743, and spent fifty yeai's 
of his life as a slare, in St. Domingo or Hayti. 

During the troubles of this island, about the com- 
mencement of the French revolution, Toussaint became 
a soldier, general, governor, in the ranks of the African 
race, at first slave, afterwards free. 

In this career, he excited the jealousy of Napoleon, 
who became his enemy, his treacherous traitor, and his 
murderer. By his orders, Toussaint was deceived, 



seized, carried to France, immured in the dungeon of 
Joux, on the Doubs, amongst the Jura mountains, 
and starved to death! — a deed which was followed 
a few years afterwards by a just retribution. 

I have introduced this sketch, in order that I may 
adduce the letters of Toussaint, addressed to his perse- 
cutor, when a prisoner on board the Hero, and in his 
dunoreon. Who can read them without admiration 


and tears ? 


On Board the Hero, 1 Thermidor, An X (12th July, 1802). 

General Toussaint L' Ouverture to General Bonaparte, First Consul of the 
French RepvMic. 

Citizen First Consul : 

I will not conceal my faults from you. I have committed some. V,Tiat 
man is exempt ? I am quite ready to avow them. After the "word of 
honour of the Captain- General who represents the French Government, 
after a proclamation addressed to the colony, in which he promised to 
throw the veil of oblivion over the events which have taken place in 
Saint Domingo, I, as you did on the 18th Brumaire, withdrew into the 
bosom of my family. Scarcely had a month passed away, when evil- 
disposed persons, by means of intrigues, effected my ruin with the General- 
in-Chief, by filling his mind with distrust against me. I received a letter 
from him, which ordered me to act in conjunction with General Brunet. 
I obeyed. Accompanied by two persons I went to Gonaives, where I was 
arrested. They sent me on board the frigate Creola, I know not for what 
reason, without any other clothes than those I had on. The next day my 
house was exposed to pillage ; my wife and my children were arrested : 
they had nothing, not even the means to cover themselves. 

Citizen First Consul — a mother, fifty years of age, may deserve the in- 
dulgence and kindness of a generous and liberal nation ; she has no ac- 
count to render ; I alone ought to be responsible for my conduct to the 
Government I have served. I have too high an idea of the greatness and 
the justice of the First Magistrate of the French people, to doubt a mo- 
ment of its impartiality. I indulge the feeling that the balance, in its 
hands, will not incline to one side more than to another. I claim its 

Salutations and Respect, 





In the Dungeon of Fort Joux, 
this 30 Fructidor, An XI (17 September, 1802). 

General, and First Consul : 

The respect and the submission -which I could wish for ever graven on 
my heart — {here words are ivanting). If I have sinned in doing my duty, 
it is contrary to my intentions ; if I vras wrong in forming the constitu- 
tion, it was through my great desire to do good ; it was through having 
employed too much zeal, too much self-love, thinking I was pleasing the 
Government under which I was \ if the formalities which I ought to have 
observed were neglected, it was through inattention. I have had the mis- 
fortune to incur your wrath ; but as to fidehty and probity, I am strong in 
my conscience, and I dare affirm, that among all the servants of the State 
no one is more honest than myself. I was one of your soldiers, and the 
first servant of the Republic in Saint Domingo ; but now I am wretched, 
ruined, dishonoured, a victim of my own services ; let your sensibDity be 
moved at my position. You are too great in feeling, and too just not to 
pronounce a judgment as to my destiny. I charge General Cafarelli, your 
Aide-de-Camp, to put my report into your hands. I beg you to take it 
into your best consideration. His honour, his frankness, have forced 
me to open my heart to him. 

Salutation and Respect, 



In the Dungeon of Fort Joux, 
this 7 Vendemiaire, An XI (29th September, 1802). 

General, and First Consul : 

I beg you, in the name of God, in the name of humanity, to cast a 
favourable eye on my appeal, on my position, and my family ; direct your 
great genius to my conduct, to the manner in which I have served my 
country, to all the dangers I have run in discharging my duty. I have 
served my country with fidelity and probity ; I have served it with zeal 
and courage ; I have been devoted to the Government under which I was; 
I have sacrificed my blood, and a part of what I possessed, to serve my 
country, and, in spite of my efforts, all my labours have been in vain^ 
You will permit me. First Consul, to say to you, with all the respect and 
submission which I owe you, that the Government has been completely 
deceived in regard to Toussaint L'Ouverture, in regard to one of its most 
zealous and courageous servants in Saint Domingo. I laboured long to 
acquire honour and glory from the Government, and to gain the esteem of 
my fellow-citizens, and I am now, for my reward, crowned with thorns 



and the most marked ingratitude. I do not deny the faults I may have 
committed, and for which I beg your pardon. But those faults do not 
deserve the fourth of tlie punishment I have received, nor the treatment 
I have undergone. 

First Consul, it is a misfortune to me that I am not known to you. If 
you had thoroughly known me while I was at Saint Domingo, you would 
have done me more justice ; my heart is good. I am not learned, I am 
ignorant ; but my father, who is now blind, showed me the road to virtue 
and honour, and I am very strong in my conscience in that matter ; and 
if I had not been devoted to the Government, I should not have been here 
— that is a truth ! I am wretched, miserable, a victim of all my services. 
All my life I have been in active service, and since the revolution of the 
lOth of August, 1790, 1 have constantly been in the service of my country. 
Now I am a prisoner, with no power to do anything; sunk in grief, my 
health is impaired. 

I have asked you for my freedom, that I may labour, that I may gain 
my subsistence and support my unhappy family. I call on your great- 
ness, on your genius, to pronounce a judgment on my destiny. Let your 
heart be softened and touched by my position and my misfortunes. 

I salute you with profound respect, 

(Signed) Toussaint L'Ouvertuee. 

Let us remember that the doer of these deeds and 
the writer of these words was of pure African blood, 
without education, and during fifty years — a slave! 
In him were genius, bravery, generosity, and disin- 
terestedness, conjoined with every private virtue, the 
whole being crowned with the most perfect abhorrence 
of slavery, and love of freedom. Toussaint was not 
more the saviour of his country, than the deliverer of 
his people from slavery. 

The African Hero of Hayti was also, in a mo- 
ment of imminent danger, the faithful protector of his 
former master and mistress and their property ! 

There are not wanting other instances of noble 
conduct amongst the people of pure African blood, in 
the midst of these fearful scenes. 



* * -K- * * -K- 

Benjamin Banneker, of pure African descent and 
self-educated, calculated almanacs for the year 1792, 
1793, 1794, 1795. These almanacs were adduced in 
the British House of Commons, in proof of the capa- 
bilities of the African race, and one of them was sent 
to Jefferson and forwarded by him to Condorcet. 

Toussaint L'Ouverture was born of African parents, 
in slavery, in St. Domingo, being in colour and feature 
a perfect negro. He gave proof of mihtary genius and 
of a pure loyalty, and was " one of the most extra- 
ordinary men of a period in which extraordinary men 
were numerous." Of him, the French General said — 
It is this Black, this Spartacus, who is destined to 
avenge the wrongs of his race." He became Dictator, 
and conducted himself nobly and honourably. The 
French became jealous of his power. He finally died 
in the dungeon of Joux, among the Jura mountains, by 
the order of Bonaparte, on the 27th of April, 1803. 

In his relations to his country, to his family, to his 
own people, Toussaint was equally great and good. 

^ * * -K- -X- 

I had the satisfaction of meeting with Dr. Pen- 
nington at New York. He is of pure African blood 
and descent, and was a slave until the age of twenty, 
when he became a fugitive from slavery. He is now 



a Presbyterian clergyman, the beloved of his flock, 
learned, able, estimable. 

I may here mention that I met with Dr. M'Cune 
Smith in New York, and with Mr. Frederick Douglas 
in Rochester. To the former, as a member of my own 
profession, I can bear this testimony, that he is amongst 
the very best- informed physicians of the United States. 
Of the latter, I need only speak as of * the coloured 
man eloquent,' a designation, which, if I may judge of 
his writings, he emphatically deserves. I have never 
read any thing so touching as his Address to the 
Coloured National Convention, in 

•X- * -Jf •5f ^ -x- 

But I must not weary your patience with more 
examples of talent in the African race. I refer you 
rather to the Tribute for the Negro," by Wilson 
Armistead, published at Manchester in 1848. 

A thousand facts attest the loyalty and the bravery, 
the attachment and the fidelity, of the African race. I 
extract, with extreme satisfaction, the testimony of 
General Jackson to their noble and exemplary conduct, 
in 1814 : 



Head Quarters, Tth Military District, Mobile, Sept. 21st, 1814. 
To the Free Coloured Inhabitants of Louisiana: 

Through a mistaken policy, you have heretofore been deprived of a 
participation in the glorious struggle for national rights, in which your 
country is engaged. 



This no longer shall exist. 

As sons of freedom, you are now called on to defend our most inestim- 
able blessings. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her 
adopted children for a valorous support. As fathers, husbands, and 
brothers, you are summoned to rally round the standard of the eagle, to 
defend all which is dear to existence. 

Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you 
to engage in her cause without remunerating you for the services rendered. 

In the sincerity of a soldier, and in the language of truth, I address 
you :— To every noble-hearted free man of colour, volunteering to serve 
during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will 
be paid the same bounty in money and land now received by the white 
soldiers of the United States, viz. l'2i dollars in money, and 160 acres of 
land. The non-commissioned oflBcers and privates will also be entitled 
to the same. Monthly pay and daily rations and clothes, furnished to any 
American soldier. 

The Major- General commanding will select officers for your Govern- 
ment from YorR White Fellow-Citizens. Your non-commissioned 
officers will be selected from yourselves. Due regard will be paid to the 
feelings of freemen and soldiers. As a distinct, independent battalion or 
regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive the 
applause and gratitude of your countrymen. 

Andrew Jackson, 
Major- General Commanding. 

yUes' Register, Dec. 3, 1814, vol. vii, p. 205. 

To the Free People of Colour : 

Soldiers ! when on the banks of the Mobile I called you to take up 
arms, inviting you to partake the perils and glory of your u'hite fellow 
citizens, I expected much from you ; for I was not ignorant that you 
possessed qualities most formidable to an invading enemy. I knew with 
what fortitude you could endure hunger and thirst, and all the fatigues 
of a campaign. 

I knew well how you loved your native country, and that you, as well 
as ourselves, had to defend what man holds most dear— his parents, wife, 
children, and property. You have done more than I expected. In addi 
tion to the previous qualities I before knew you to possess, I found among 
you a noble enthusiasm which leads to the performance of great things. 

Soldiers I the President of the United States shall hear how praise- 
worthy was your conduct in the hour of danger, and the representatives 



of the American people will give you the praise your exploits entitle you 
to. Your General anticipates them in applauding your noble ardour. 

The enemy approaches— his vessels cover our lakes— ottr brave citizens 
are united, and all contention has ceased among them. Their only dis- 
pute is, who shall win the prize of valor, or who the most glory, its 
noblest reward. By order, 

Thomas Butler, Aide-de-Camp. 
* -x- T^- ^ -x- -jf 

In the preceding paragraphs, the African, in the 
cases of Banneker and Toussaint, has been permitted 
to speak for himself Totally without early education, 
the former, 5^//*- educated, rose to eminence in the dif- 
ficult career of astronomical calculation. The latter, 
after ffty years of slavery, 5^^- made, rose to the 
highest rank of a soldier and a citizen. 

There is genius then amongt the African people, 
genius which has burst forth out of ignorance and 

Of the educated African, of an educated African 
people, — of their intellectual and moral endowments, 
unfettered by prejudice, — the people of the United 
States can form no idea ; for they have never seen 
such a person ; and such a people has never yet been 
presented to the world's observation. 

Not only have uneducated individuals of the African 
race shown themselves worthy of honour and praise, but 
uneducated numbers of this people have acted merito- 

In Hayti and other of the West India islands, both 
individuals and people, of the African race, have pre- 



sented examples of loyalty and faithfulness, of patience 
under sufferings, and of moderation in victory, which 
must excite the admiration of all candid minds. 

I beg to refer you to Dr. Beard's Life of Toussaint 
L'Ouverture. You will be pleased with the details of 
the noble conduct of Africans, and of the African race 
generally, in their " war of independence." 

I refer you once more to the " Tribute for the 
Negro," and especially to the account of Alexander 
Crumwell, of pure African origin, and one of the four 
episcopally ordained clergymen in the United States; and 
of Paul Cuffe, an " intelligent, enterprising, and bene- 
volent negro, the son of John Cuffe, a negro dragged 
from his home and sold into slavery," who, to do good 
to his fellow Africans, thrice visited Africa I 

But I must not weary you. One day I may do more 
ample justice to this subject. At present, I VNdll only 
further adduce a most interesting paragraph from the 
recent work of Dr. Davy on " The West Indies before 
and after Emancipatmi ;" 

" As labourers, both women and men are allowed to be efficient, and, 
with ordinary motives to exertion, such as fair wages, justly and regu- 
larly paid, and liberal treatment, not wanting in industry. It is a mis- 
take often committed to suppose that the African is by nature idle and 
indolent, less inclined to work than the European. It is a mistake, I 
perceiA'e, even fallen into by some of the friends of the race. Thus a son 
of their distinguished advocate, Mr. Wilberforce, the present Bishop ol 
Oxford, speaks of them as ' a people who naturally hated labour, and who 
would sink in absolute indolence from the want of the proper stimulants 
to mental exertion.' He makes this remark, comparing them with ' our 
peasants at home, who love labour for the sake of labour.' This, I have 
no hesitation in remarking, is a mistake founded on ignorance. What 
I have witnessed convinces me of it. The vigorous, quick walk of tin 
negro going to his work , the untiring zest and exertions made by neg! * 



lads on a holiday at cricket, not in the shade, but fully exposed to the 
sun ; the extra labour of the negro when cultivating his own plot of 
ground in propitious, showery weather, often commencing before dawn, 
by moonlight, and recurring to it after the day's work ; the amount of 
work they willingly undertake ; — in India or Ceylon, each riding or car- 
riage horse is attended by at least two persons, a groom, called in the 
latter a horse-keeper, and a grass-cutter; in Barbadoes, one man will, 
with the aid of a stable boy, or sometimes without any aid, take charge 
of three horses, act also as a coachman, and make himself otherwise 
useful. These are circumstances which have fully convinced me that he 
neither hates labour, nor is naturally indolent when he has a motive to 
exertion. Other circumstances might be adduced in corroboration, such 
as — to mention one or two— the willingness with which he undertakes 
task work, and the satisfaction that, when so engaged, he commonly 
gives ; the industry and perseverance he displays in reclaiming ground, 
an acre or two, or less, which he may have purchased in fee, and from a 
waste, bit by bit, changing its character to thit of fertility, very much 
after the manner of the Maltese peasant, breaking up rocks, collecting 
soil, forming, in brief, little " campi artificiali," and out-doing even the 
Maltese peasant in one respect— viz, in turning to account each small 
portion as soon as reclaimed, by cropping it at once. He who has wit- 
nessed, as I have, this indefatigable and provident industry, will be dis- 
posed probably to over-rate rather than under-rate the activity of the 
negro, and his love of, or rather I wonld say his non -aversion to, labour ; 
for I believe comparatively few of our English peasants truly ' love 
labour for the sake of labour.' In the best of them, labour is an acquired 
habit, and habit, according to the old adage, is second nature, and so 
too with the negro." 

In one word, from all I have read, heard, and 
seen, my mind is convinced that education alone is 
required to make the African the equal generally of 
the European. 

In the United States, when the iron hand of 
despotism is removed, with all its injustice, and true 
republican principles introduced, with all their good, the 
fetters which now bind and enslave the poor African in 
mind and body will fall off, and this race will become 




the finest peasants and artisans, the best citizens, 
and, if need be, the bravest and most loyal soldiers. 

I conclude this subject by the following letter just 
received from a benevolent friend, a native, and for 
years a resident, in Jamaica : 

********* 7th August, 1854. 

My Dear Dr. Marshall Hall, 

I am sorry that I cannet go at length into the subject which you 
mention, as I am surrounded at this moment with engagements of a 
pressing character. But so far as a general opinion is concerned, I may 
state at once that my opinion of the African race is favourable — highly 
so. I believe them to be as susceptible of the influences of civilization 
as any other race— but unhappily they have never had the chances that 
others have had. Civilization with its benefits does not arise from within. 
I believe there is no instance on record of a nation's rising to any emi- 
nence without contact with other nations— hardly so of emerging from 
pure barbarism, save by means of the customs, habits, or views instilled 
or acquired by means of intercourse with other communities. In the case 
of the African, he has verified this axiom by the very fact, that although 
taken from his native countrN' a barbarian, to live and die as a slave else- 
where, he has yet risen considerably above his earlier condition, and has 
fallen naturally into the improved habits of the society around him, not- 
withstanding the restrictions upon his progress which his condition as a 
slave has necessarily imposed. I was in my earlier life brought up in the 
midst of slavery, and I can with perfect satisfaction to my conscience 
say, that for fidelity, natural kindliness of disposition, and a desire to 
elevate himself, the African is not exceeded by any other race. In all the 
moral affections I consider him rather above than below the average of 
mankind. His religious faculties or susceptibilities peculiarly strong. 
I have heard a negro pray at religious meetings, and nothing could ex- 
ceed the aptitude of expression or the deep fervour of the sentiments ex- 
pressed. I have known numbers of 7iative (i. e. West Indian, but yet 
African) preachers, and the contrast between the white and black preacher 
of the same condition was by no means unfavourable to the latter. The 
negro is also sagacious and quick in acquiring knowledge. When a boy, 
I used to frequent a Sunday school for the purpose of teaching ; and in a 
short time— after but a very few weeks— I have known men and women 
from thirty to forty years old, with but the weekly instruction of the 
school, able to read their Bible— to repeat hymns and other religious ser- 



vices by heart. In fact, the desire to " learn" I have always regarded as 
a strong feature in the character of the black— and on this account, as 
well as on account of the desire so strongly manifested by him, " to cut 
a figure," as it were, and to stand out above even his own race, I have 
also regarded the natural tendency of the negro to be ambitious. On my 
father's estate (for I must plead guilty to having been born a slave- 
holder) there were men and women as intelligent, faithful and trustworthy 
amongst the peasantry and household servants as could be found in any 
part of the world, or amongst any people whatsoever. There were slaves 
also (blacks) whose rooms were furnished with excellent mahogany fur- 
niture, and other household implements in proportion, procured with their 
own savings or private earnings. 

It was no uncommon thing for the black slave to own one or two 
horses, and to bring his provisions to market on his own horse, or donkey, 
or mule, week by week on the usual holiday, which was on that account 
the market day. I think one or two such facts go much further even 
than argument, to show that the unfortunate African is a man created as 
other men 'in the image of God,' possessing the same intellectual powers, 
moral affections and susceptibility. AVhether in intellectual power 
he is equal to the white, is a question that has yet to be decided. So far 
as opportunities have hitherto been presented for solving this question, 
I do not hesitate to express my opinion that he is in no wise inferior to 
his white fellow-man. 

Unhappily the unwise provisions of the British emancipation act and 
its infamous administration, acting with other causes subsequently, have 
so far injured the interests of the African elsewhere as to have represented 
his emancipation in the West Indies as a failure. The British Colonies 
have undoubtedly suffered directly from emancipation; but they have 
suffered far more from the injudicious manner in which it was effected 
and carried out ; unaccompanied as it was too by any provision for the 
moral or intellectual training of so large a mass of ignorant and even 
semibarbarous persons. The slave of yesterday found himself a freeman 
to-day, invested with all the rights of citizenship. His only idea of life 
hitherto had been " labour." His only idea of freedom ivas abstinence 
from work,' so that the moment the emancipation took place there was a 
withdrawal of labour, or it became so scarce and uncertain that hardly 
any price could procure it; and when procured, no proprietor could culti- 
vate on his estate at such high rates. In countries with extensive tracts 
of imcultivated land and a fruitful soil, the negro peasantry would not and 
did not at first experience any inconvenience by this refusal to labour for 
former masters ; but in time the effect upon the planters reacted upon 
the peasantry, and the result has been (arising, I must add, from other 
causes as well) great depression upon all classes of the community iu the 
different colonies. 



It has been fatal to the negro in many \rays. It has retarded the 
progress — social and moral — that he had promised and was acquiring, 
and it has thrown him back into a condition of poverty and semibar- 
baxism. Schools and chapels, at one time niimeroiis and spreading, have 
been closed from want of means (formerly furnished by the thriving 
labourer, even when a slave) to support them ; and I fear it will be a very 
long time, indeed, before the African's friend will have had a fair chance 
of testing before the world the true qualities and capabilities of the eman- 
cipated African. 

I have now to add the great pleasure I derived from a perusal of your 
letters to an American paper. With some qualification, I think your 
scheme for self- emancipation wise, audi agree /uZZ?/ with all you say in 
favour of the unhappy African. 

I remain, my Dear Dr. Marshall Hall, yours most truly. 

Having had no opportunity of seeing educated 
Africans, it is impossible that we should be able to 
judge of their character under such circumstances. 
Let us make the noble and glorious experiment and 
ascertain the influence of education and discipHne on a 
nature known to be susceptible. Let us see whether 
these slaves may not become excellent and valuable 
citizens. Let us grant them the following privileges : 

1. Indissoluble Marriage ; 

2. Education and Discipline ; 

3. Self- E mane ipat ion ; 

4. All a Citizeiis Rights. 

If need be, let us estabhsh a vigilant Rural Police. 

In doing the African race this simple justice, we 
shall exchange his condition from that of the abject 
slave to that of the respectable, intelligent, and ener- 
getic peasant and artisan. 



Abolition would deliver the African from the first 
slavery, it is true ; but only to deliver him over to the 
second. The scheme of self- emancipation, with its im- 
plied education, discipline, and elevation — this plan and 
nothing less — would deliver him from both. 

Let us begin with enacting a perfect code noir — 
perfect in purity and equity. Let its first clause 
exchange adultery for holy marriage ; let its second 
exchange slavery for citizenship. Let us cease from 
derogatory and unjust views of the African race. 



Slavery: its Cruelties and Indignities. 
•3f -jf -x- * ^ -x- 

I HAVE not hitherto written to you of the cruelties 
of slavery. This has usually been the first topic with 
anti- slavery writers. But I have noticed things that 
are worse than cruelties. 

The cruelties of slavery are, at the most, />%5/ca/. 
I have told you of moral and intellectual inflictions ; 
of hearts rent asunder and of minds crushed. 

Even of the cruelties inflicted by slavery, I think 
the indignity the worst part. I once saw the ' paddle ' 
laid over the glutei. Each stroke induced a yell, and 
such quivering of those muscles as I never beheld be- 
fore, although a physiologist. And yet, more than by 
this, I was affected by seeing the poor creature, when 
loosened, for he had been tied hands and feet to a board, 
rise and draw on his clothes, and hasten to the water- 
pipe for thirst. I felt indignant that one man should 
have the power and the heart so to treat another ; and 
I shall feel this to the last day of my hfe. 

Tlie * cow-hide,' the whip, and the 'paddle' are the 
agents of this physical cruelty and indignity. There 


are other modes of punishment. One of the most 
dreaded is being ' sold south,* sundered from every tie, 
and sent forth into one of those enormous south State 
prisons of which I wrote in a former letter, never to 

Hand-cuffs ; the ' coffle the public sale by auc- 
tion ; the ultimate destination, follow. 

And if the poor slave should venture to attempt an 
escape, he is branded, and pursued by the bloodhound, 
and the gun ! 

I have throughout these letters wished to avoid all 
exasperating details. On this occasion, I shall merely 
adduce an advertisement or two, to establish the facts, 
leaving them to your own meditation and commentary. 

The first of these is extracted from the Raleigh 
Standard, North Carolina. 

" Run away, a negro woman and two children. A few days before 
she went off, I burnt her with a hot iron, on the left side of her face. 
I tried to make the letter M. 

«M. RICKS." 

"July 18, 1838." 

The second extract is taken from the Sumner 
County Whig, Alabama. 


" The undersigned, having bought the entire pack of negro dogs 
(of the Hay and Allen stock), he now purposes to catch runaway 
negroes. His charges will be three dollars per day for hunting, and 
fifteen dollars for catching a runaway. He resides three miles and a 
half north of Livingston, near the Lower Jones Bluff Road, 


" Nov. 6, 1845.— 6 m." 



The third advertisement is copied from the Wil- 
mington Advertise!', North CaroHna : 

" Runaway, my negro man, Richard. A reward of twenty-five dol- 
lars will be given for his apprehension, dead or alive. Satisfactory 
proof will only be required of his being killed. 


" July 13, 1838." 

Even on these things I add no commentary. 

Is it not true that the poor slave has been flogged 
fearfully ? that he has been branded in the hand, on 
the cheek, or on the forehead? that he has been 
hunted, yes, and worried to death, by bloodhounds? 
that he has been shot, when his escape was otherwise 
inevitable ? Is it possible to read or think of these 
things without a shudder ? 

What people then, what nation, will retain, amidst 
such feeling, such an institution ? 




Degree of Friendship towards the African. 

I MUST now beg your attention to a Table, repre- 
senting the proportion of free Africans in the different 
States, to the white, or the slave, population. I regard 
the numbers representing this proportion, as represent- 
ing, at the same time, the degree of f riendliness of the 
people, or of the climate, to the African race. 

Proportion of the free African to the Whites and to 
the Slaves. 

Proportion to 

Proportion to 


the Whites. 

the Slaves. 

One in 




X. Hampshire. 







Massachusetts . 




Ehode Island. . 




Connecticut. . . 




Xew York 




Pennsylvania. . 













One in 




1. 1.4 




2. 8.7 


Xorth Carolina. 



3. 10.5 


South Carolina. 



7. 43.2 





8. 131.5 





9. 155.8 


Mississippi. . . . 



10. 344.4 




14 6 

4. 14 




6. 37.4 



76 1 


5. 21.1 



In this point of view, Maryland enjoys what I deem 
the proud pre-eminence of being, of all the States, the 
first in friendliness towards the African. Next comes 
Louisiana, with its mild " code noir." Then follow 
Virginia and the Carolinas ; and next, Rhode Island, 
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. Then 
come Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and ]\Iassachusetts ; 
and then, at a considerable distance, Tennessee, 
Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama ; then, at a still greater 
distance, IMississippi, the State which repudiates, at 
once, freedom and its just debts ; lastly, and strange to 
say, I\Iaine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I trust, 
the unfriendliness of the last three is more that of 
cHmate, than of the people. 

In Maryland there is, of course, the most of assem- 
blage, on the same soil, of European and free African. 
This State may therefore be adduced as the example of 
the mixture of the two races, without amalgamation, 
and I rejoice to add, with least oppression. The number 
of the free African proves the latter point. It is sad to 
think that where that oppression is least, it is still severe ; 
for in Baltimore the free African is deprived of many 
of the previleges of the humblest citizen. 

It is Louisiana — glorious Louisiana — that most ex- 
cites my admiration. In this State, in which so much 
cotton and sugar are produced (see Table, p. 40), in 
which slave-labour is deemed so essential, one in every 
fourteen of the African people is — -free I What a con- 
trast with the adjacent anti-African, repudiating, IMis- 
sissippi ! 



Next to Louisiana come Virginia and the two Caro- 
linas, slave- States ; and next to those, Rhode Island, 
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York, free States. 
There is nothing incompatible between the conditions of 
either the free, or the slave States, therefore, and free- 
dom of the African race. The whole induction of facts 
goes to prove the feasibihty of a just self- emancipation 
in all the States. 

I leave this argument with you, only craving for it 
your best consideration. I trust, indeed, that all of 
every opinion will one day study, with us, the question 
of self- emancipation. 

In addition to the degree of ' friendship' of Loui- 
siana just noticed, I must mention another peculiarity. 
Its code noir is in some essential points milder than 
the other slave- codes. 

In Louisiana the slave is considered as real estate 
and immoveable; the husband and wife, parent and 
child, cannot or ought not to be separated by sale. 
The tenure by which the slave is held is that of serf- 
dom ; the slave is attached to the soil. 

If this law be still in force, there is no reason why 
holy marriage and the strictest relation between parent 
and child should not be ensured. 

In this manner, Louisiana would again present a 
glorious distinction from the other slave- States. But if 
such a law be enforced in one State, why not in a//.^ 
In this case a mitigation of United States slavery, of 
the most important kind, would be instantly accom- 



The code noir of Louisiana is of French and of 
home, not of colonial, origin. 

There are two views which may be taken of tliis 
subject : — Either the Gallic race is of a milder cha- 
racter than the boasted Anglo-Saxon, or it may be that 
the legislation of the mother country is milder than 
that of its colonial offsets. In either case will not the 
American native be moved by jealousy to imitate the 
milder legislation ? . 

I must add, that in Maryland and Louisiana, the 
friendly States, some religious privileges are permitted 
— as baptism and extreme unction. 

Is the Roman Catholic more lenient and just to- 
wards his slave than the Protestant ? 

Lastly, in Louisiana alone the slave may enjoy a 
2)eculium, that is, property, by the permission of his 

Will not what I have written in this letter induce 
some of the people of the United States to think f 




Homes for the Free African ; friendly and unfriendly 

There is a more kindly feeling towards the African 
race in the slave States, than in the so -called free. The 
slave States afford a home to 288,187 free coloured 
persons; the free States, to 196,308 only. 

Amongst the free States, Pennsylvania manifests the 
greatest sympathy for the African race. In an area of 
47,000 square miles, Pennsylvania affords a home to 
53,323 free of the African race. 

Of the free States, Illinois is the least friendly 
towards the African. In an area of 55,409 square 
miles, Illinois affords a home to 5,435 free Africans 
only. I have already alluded to the ' Black ' legisla- 
tion of this pretended free state. 

On an area of 39,964 square miles, 15,445 less 
than that of Illinois, Ohio affords shelter and a home 
to 25,319 free Africans, or 19,884 morel Formerly, 
as I have stated, p. 94 , Ohio took part in ' Black ' 
legislation. This State must, in later years, have risen 
from its prejudice against the persecuted race. 

It must be observed, that Ohio contains twice the 
number of white people contained by Illinois; but 


it contains nearly times the number of free of the 
African race. 

New York State, of nearly the same area as Penn- 
sylvania (46,000 squai'e miles), and vsith a much 
gi-eater white population, 3,097,394, only affords a 
home and protection to 49,069 of the free colom*ed, or 
4,557 less than the 'friendly' State; for tliis is the 
well-earned title of Pennsylvania, a title far above any 
which riches or power can bestow. 

I hail Ohio, glorious Ohio, as the fr'iendhj State 
amongst the newer States of the Union. 

Amongst the slave States, Mai*yland has the gloiy 
of being by far the most friendly. With a population 
of 417,943, and an area of 11,000 square miles, only, 
it befriends 74,723 free persons of the African race! 

In a ftiture letter, I may enter into further details 
on this point. For the present, I recommend to your 
carefril study, once more, the Table at pp. 38, 39. It 
would be interesting to calculate the ratios between the 
free African and the white and slave population, and 
the area of the States. We should then perceive the 
degree of hberality and generosity of each State, and 
know on whom our call to befriend the poor African 
should be especially made. One thing is required on 
the part of the people of the United States, in order, 
at once, to do justice to a race of people now oppressed, 
to heal the difrerences between the northern and south- 
em States, to preserve the Union, and to ward off 
all danger, however remote, of uism-rection and servile 
war : it is, instead of an insensate prejudice, a heai*t- 



felt Friendliness towards an oppressed race of fellow 
men. Let our motto be 

Friendliness towards the African, 
and ALL will be well. 

Let us feel towards the African as we do or ought 
to do towards our old servant, or gardener, or bailiff, 
or tenant, or humbler neighbour ; and nothing more. 
Let us remember that God hath made of one blood all 
the nations of the earth ; and that all are equal 
before Him ! 

■3f -X- * -Jf 

I have stated in a former letter, that there are a 
greater number (iifree Africans in the slave, than in the 
free States, in the proportion of 238,187 to 196,308. 

The greatest number in any State is in Maryland ; 
viz. 74,723: and next, in Virginia; viz. 54,333. 
These numbers are also the greatest in proportion to 
the white population. 

Are these facts, like slavery itself, results of cHmate? 

Is the fact, in regard to Maryland and Virginia, 
peculiojr to these two States ? 

It is a most interesting and important question — 
In which of the States, slave or free, is the free Afri- 
can most happy, and most useful ? 

Not less interesting is the question — Where, in the 
United States, or Canada, or in the West Indies, can 
we gain the most and best information respecting the 
association, without amalgamation, of the European 
and the African races ? 




Self -E}7'(ancijMtio7i ; successive Boons to the Slave. 

"X- -Jf -JS- -x- * -^i- 

The first boon I would request for the poor slave 
is — Marriage — holy, indissoluble Marriage. 

No one, having the slightest regard for religion, ei- 
ther in himself or his family, can refuse this first boon. 
And yet it is the uprooting of the tree which bears 
for its fruit the separation of husband and wife, of 
parent and child ; and, as a direct consequence, of all 

The second boon I crave for the poor African slave 
is — Education — the faculty of reading, writing, and 

By this means the slave v^'ill be enabled to read 
his Bible, to communicate with absent relatives and 
firiends, and to keep his accounts. By this simple 
means he will be raised in the rank of beings. 

The next boon is the offer of Freedom on the con- 
dition of his working it out for himself, according to a 
well-devised and systematic arrangement. 

This accomphshed, the next boon is — ^Yages. 



He becomes a peasant, a husbandman. His labour 
is free labour ; but it is rewarded labour. From being 
languid, it has become energetic. He carries home to 
his wife and family its fruits. He clothes himself, his 
wife and his children, decently ; especially on a Sunday. 

I need not insist on the influence of clothing on the 
mind of every one, but especially of the African. 
Decent clothing raises the character, as rags and coarse 
attire depress and degrade it. Again, the African will 
be raised amongst the human family. 

The fifth boon is — the Rights of a Citizen. 
The ehgibility to serve on a jury, to vote, and give 
evidence ; to acquire and possess property ; to choose 
his abode in the length and breadth of the United 
States; &c. 

What I see around me at this moment amongst 
the peasantry of Old England, I feel persuaded may 
be nobly and happily realized amongst the African 
race in the United States, slavery and oppression being 
alike uprooted. 

All this w^ill be achieved by emancipation, 
and could not be achieved by mere abolition. Imme- 
diate aboHtion could lead to no improvement in the 
condition of the African mind and character, and ruin 
might fall on slave, master, estate, and the nation. 
The preparation and discipline impHed, in the system 
of self- emancipation, will raise the African character, 
secure his future good conduct, make him all that a 
citizen ought to be, and avert the coming evil of 
servile war. 





W/iat shall we do to further Self- Emancipation? 

^ -X- -Jf -Jf -K- -Jf 

In the preceding Letters I have given a brief ac- 
count of the position and wants of the poor African 
slave in the United States. 

What can be done to mitigate his sad condition ? 

In this Letter I shall attempt to answer this 
simple and practical question : 

I would propose first, that in every place a Society/ 
in Aid of the Self -Emancipation — the double Eman- 
cipation, — of the African slave in the United States be 

Let the first meeting be occupied with the recogni- 
tion of such society, a statement of its objects, and 
an outline of its rules. Amongst the first of these 
objects should be the establishment of a Library of 
Works on Slavery in the United States, and of pro- 
slavery and anti- slavery efforts. For the first thing is 
to be well and truly informed. 

The second meeting may be occupied with the dis- 
cussion of the active proceedings of the Society. Some 
mode of publication should be adopted. An established 


journal of liberal and generous principles may, at the 
first, be selected with this object. 

The third object must be to estabHsh branch so- 
cieties over the land, — and in the United States. 

The fourth object of the Society must be the ap- 
pointment of wise and prudent persons to make the 
wants of the poor African slave known. 

Fiftly ; let respectful communications be made 
to the planters in the slave- State legislatures, always 
in such terms as shall absolutely exclude just offence. 
Let us first appeal to them instantly to establish law- 
ful and indissoluble marriage ; let us next implore 
them to establish schools for the simplest education ; 
let us, in the third place, beg them to adopt some simple 
and generous plan of task-work and of over-work in- 
stead of day-work, explaining to the slave his privilege 
of self- emancipation; let us, fourthly, submit to them the 
proposed mode of proceeding in regard to the self- 
emancipated slave ; &c. &c. 

Sixthly ; let us, in the name of religion, address 
the ministers of religion in the United States on the 
crime of the permitted or enforced adultery of the 
slaves, a point on which there can or ought to be no 
difference of opinion ; and let us add plainly and sim- 
ply our views on the other topics connected with this 
momentous matter, involving, at this moment, the well- 
being of three milHons and a half of our fellow-men. 

Seventhly ; let us address the State legislatures of 
the free States, on the part of the so-called free African 
of the United States, imploring them to legislate gene- 



rously towards him, leaving every kind of occupation 
freely open to him, and the public schools to his 

Eighthly ; let it be distinctly understood that the 
Society enters into no controversy, and will neither em- 
ploy nor notice any vituperative epithets towards per- 
sons or things ; its objects being to state the simplest 
truth, and work out the simplest justice to the poor op- 
pressed African. 

Lastly ; I propose that this little volume of Letters 
he sold, and that, after refunding the prime cost and 
remunerating the publisher, the profits be devoted to the 
good cause of the African, In this manner all can 
AID in the noblest cause that can occupy the human 

And here, for the present, I conclude these Letters. 

If my American friends could read my heart, they 
would not be displeased with me. I had, very early in 
life, friendly ideas towards the United States instilled 
into my mind. These have been confirmed by a per- 
sonal acquaintance. Such a friendly feehng I should 
like to see prevail between England and the United 
States, without alloy. A great obstacle to such a feel- 
ing will be removed, when slavery disappears under 
the influence of a wise and efficient system of Self- 
emancipation ! 



I MUST again apologize for repetitions of the same 
idea and expression in the preceding Letters and in 
the following Sketch. 

I have another remark to make : if, in the num- 
bers given in this little volume, there should be any 
discrepancy, it arises fi'om their having been taken in 
part from the " Abstract of the Seventh Census," pub- 
lished some time ago, and in part from the " Seventh 
Census " itself, pubhshed more recently. 


M}f Tour: Washington; Baltimore; Philadelphia; 
the Ohio; Louisville; the Upper Mississippi ; Sec, 

•K- -x- * * -x- ^ 

On February the 12th, 1854, we took our berths 
on board the Arabia, bound from Liverpool to New 
York, where we arrived safely on the 23rd. 

The inauguration of the new President of the 
United States was appointed for the 4th of March 
following ; we therefore speedily proceeded to Wash- 
ington, the seat of the Federal Government, the capital 
of the slave District of Columbia, and the limit of the 
jurisdiction of Congress. We were much pleased with 
the simple pageantry of the inauguration, and gratified 
to see the many truly great men of the different States 
whom the occasion had assembled together. 

Here I first became familiar with the sable counte- 
nances of our fellow-men and brethren of the African 
race. The little District of Columbia contained, in 
1850, 51,687 inhabitants, of whom 3,687 were slaves. 
Here, in the very heart of the Union, man is bought 
and sold, as cattle are bought and sold. On this spot, 
where it is proudly maintained, since the 4th of July, 



1776, that all men are created equal," and " are 
endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, 
amongst which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness here, under the immediate eye of the 
capitol itself, man exists with all his rights ALIEN- 
ATED, even those in regard to his wife and his child, 
who may be taken from him and sold away from him, 
(or he from them), never to be seen by him more ! 

From Washington we proceeded to Baltimore, 
the chief town, though not the capital, of the slave- 
State of Llaryland. Here, on the 27th of March, 
I heard a black man preach : it was Easter Sunday, 
and he gave an interesting, not to say an admirable, 
historical account of the Hfe of Christ. Here, too, I 
met, by the kindness of a friend, ten free persons of 
colour, and had the opportunity of asking them many 
questions relative to slavery, to their own condition, 
formerly as slaves and now as free ; to their views of 
what was required for the good of their race in the 
United States, to aboHtion, colonization, &c. Never was 
my mind more impressed, or my heart more touched, 
than by this scene, and its varied disclosures. All 
appeared to me to speak reasonably, calmly, admirably. 
To my question — "What is most required for the Afri- 
can race in the United States ?" — one person, as black as 
ebony, rephed energetically and emphatically, " Educa- 
tion!" To my question — "What do you think of 
colonization ?" a second observed with feeling — " We 
are Americans born ; we love the land of our birth ; 
time was when we shed our blood in its defence ; why 



should we be led or driven from it to a country, how- 
ever known to our race, unknown to us ?" 

At Baltimore, I had the inestimable advantage of 
meeting with Mr. J. H. B. Latrobe, the able President 
of the Colonization Society of Maryland, who on seve- 
ral occasions explained to us at length, and with great 
force and eloquence, his views and those of the Society 
at large ; views, which at first appeared to me admira- 
ble, as they do indeed still in a certain sense, but which 
I soon discovered to be utterly inadequate to the great 
object of the emancipation of three millions and a half 
of our fellow-men from slavery and oppression. To 
these views I shall have occasion to revert hereafter. 
I will only now add, that the designs of this Society 
obviously relate to the free, not to the slave, and for 
the relief of the American, rather than for the benefit 
of the poor African. Now, it is the cause of the latter 
of which I would be the devoted advocate. 

In Baltimore, I first witnessed the effects of that 
second slavery of oppression, the slavery of the so- 
called free African, of which I purpose to treat specially : 
in Baltimore, a person of colour, however said to be 
free, may not drive a dray, or guide a boat; and 
yet every one knows that in the performance of such 
offices he is most skilful. 

From Baltimore we proceeded to Philadelphia. In 
this chief city of the free State of Pennsylvania, we 
again met with that second slavery of prejudice and 
oppression, pervading all classes, and still pursuing the 
poor African, who may have escaped from the first, in 



all the (so called) free States of North America, to 
which I have just adverted. In Philadelphia, the 
African may not pursue the humble occupation of driver 
of an omnibus — this office being forcibly monopolized 
by the Anglo-Saxon to his exclusion, no one coming to 
his aid. Yet was it in this very city that the Act was 
signed, declaring man equal, with inahenable rights, 
and free ! 

From Philadelphia, to pursue the sketch of our 
tour, we passed along the railroad which conveyed us 
over inclined planes across the Alleghanies to Pittsburg. 
Here we witnessed the confluence of the Monongahela 
and Alleghany rivers, and the formation, by their con- 
junction, of the Ohio, truly " the beautiful river," as 
its Indian name implies, on whose waters we were to 
pass so many enjoyable and instructive hours, between 
banks of wood and verdure, and bright with the red 
and white flowers of the red-bud and the dog-wood. 
Along its course we passed between the free States of 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois on the north, and the slave- 
States of Virginia and Kentucky on the south, stopping 
at Cincinnati in the first, and at Louisville in the last of 
these, so comparing the free States and cities with the 
slave. In Cincinnati, I visited the factory of an African, 
who had invented a bedstead, formed on a new prin- 
ciple. He and his men were perfectly black. He was 
prosperous, and they steady and industrious. Who 
dare affirm, then, that this race are unequal to inven- 
tion, manufacture, commerce, and industry? 

From Louisville we made an excursion into the 



interior of this slave- State, visiting the famous Mam- 
moth cave, and observing the condition of the negro 
population in the course of our route. I am bound to 
say, that their condition is one of comfort, and that the 
slaves are generally, according to the phrase of Henry 
Clay, fat and sleek." Indeed, viewed as cattle, I 
beheve the slave is well treated, in general, in Ken- 
tucky. It is when we view him as Man, that we are 
shocked at the barbaric ignorance, degradation, and 
immorality in which he is kept. Nor must we cease 
to deplore the cruelty, the dissolution of the marriage 
and parental ties, to which, in this, as in all slave- 
breeding States, the African is exposed. 

On reaching the mouth of the Ohio and the " Father 
of Waters," the great Mississippi, we began our ascent 
of the majestic river, staying at St. Louis, the capital 
of the slave-State, Missouri. On leaving St. Louis, we 
pursued our course between the noble " bluffs" or 
river-cliffs on each side of the stream, to St. Paul, St. 
Anthony and its Falls, and far north-west to Sauk 
Rapids, there, by the kind invitation of the governor of 
the territory (Minnesota), to witness the interesting 
scene of the meeting in a council of the chiefs of the 
Chippewa, Winnebago, and Sioux Indians, attended by 
two hundred and fifty of their people. 

Returning to Galena, we took a carriage and crossed 
the prairies," bounded by a sea-like horizon, on the 
northern part of the free State of Illinois (recently 
suUied by its " black- code" of laws against the free 
but still persecuted African, taking the lead in the 



excluding States) to the newly-created city of Chi- 

I have frequently adverted to this second kind of 
oppression, by which the poor African is visited in the 
United States. In some of the States, termed free, in 
Ohio, in Indiana, but especially in Ilhnois, he is abso- 
lutely prohibited and excluded by State-law, and by 
recent State-law too, from taking up his abode and 
pursuing some humble calling of industry. If he at- 
tempt to do so, he is actually driven, or sold, from the 
state, re-sold into slavery! What words can ade- 
quately chai'acterize such legislation ? How truly is it 
said — Homo homini aut Deus aut demon !" What 
a contrast does this Illinois present with Old England ! 
In England, the moment the slave's foot touches the 
soil, he is free. In Illinois, the moment the free-man 
of colour touches the soil, of his own country too, even 
the country of his birth, he becomes — an alien, or — a 
slave ! 

And thus Illinois, on an area of 55,409 square 
miles, gives refuge and a home to 5,436 free coloured 
persons only ; whilst the friendly State of Pennsyl- 
vania, over a space of only 47,000 square miles of 
surface, affords shelter to 53,626 of the persecuted 
freemen of the African race. 

One thing only was required to fill up the measure 
of this iniquity, and this has been suppHed by Ken- 
tuck}^ Within a few years, a new " Constitution" has 
been framed by this State, in one article of which it is 
enacted, that no one shall liberate a slave without con- 



veying him out of the State ! And whither, oh ! whither 
could he convey him, if all the states should enact such 
a code as has recently been enacted by Illinois ? 

This persecution is as unreasonable too, as it is 
unjust. If the African really makes an able black- 
smith, and carpenter, and builder, and if such artisans 
are needed in the United States, why should he be 
discarded? Why may not the blacksmith, the car- 
penter, and the bricklayer; the shoe-maker and the 
tailor ; the grocer and the draper ; the gardener and 
the farmer, be — black? And if the coloured man's 
talents fit him for higher stations and occupations, is it 
not unworthy of the proud Anglo-Saxon to oppose his 
feebler brother in his difficult career ? 

If this legislation be aimed at the idle and the dis- 
solute amongst the coloured race, be it so ; but let it be 
directed against misconduct and not against complexion, 
against the criminal and not against the race ; and let 
us, by education and elevation, endeavour to prevent 
the crime we now punish. 



Mj/ Tour continued : Niagara; Canada; New York. 

■5(- ^ -X- 4f ^ -sf 

But I must quit the subject of the second slavery 
in the United States for the present, as we did Chi- 
cago, pursuing our course along the lakes Michigan, 
Huron, and Erie, to Buffalo, and thence to the Falls of 
Niagara ! 

On this route, the narrow water which divides the 
State of Michigan from the village of Amhurstberg in 
Canada — that narrow water, so often crossed with a 
palpitating heart by the poor fugitive slave — had the 
most intense interest for us. 

In Canada, even the poor African is no longer pur- 
sued by the demons, slavery or persecution. But, 
alas ! its rigorous climate is little suited to the consti- 
tution of the refugee from the south, and pneumonia 
and tubercle are apt to shorten his days. How in- 
scrutable are the ways of Providence I 

In Buffalo, I met wdth a negro who had been a 
fugitive from slavery many years. It was pro- 
posed to sell him to the south, parting him from his 
wife and two children. He resolved not to be so sepa- 


rated from them, and ran away. His affection for 
them remains imabated ; he has tried to purchase 
them, but they are not to be sold ! He has remained a 
widower ; his fears are for his daughter, now seventeen 
years of age, lest she should become the mistress of 
her master, who has several famihes I 

Having satiated our eyes with the tossed and foam- 
ing rapids, the mass of sea-gi'een water moving to the 
edge of the precipice, the majesty and beauty of its 
Falls, and listened with awe and delight to their subhme 
thunder — the " Thunder of Waters," according to the 
poetic phrase of the Indian — I left Niagara and obeyed 
a professional summons to proceed to Hamilton, and 
thence took the steamer on Lake Ontario for Toronto. 
Here I was deeply interested in the noble designs and 
deeds of the Anti- Slavery Society, and especially in 
the active part which the ladies take in the good work 
of succour to the most persecuted of the human race. 
How noble is the effort here made to pro\T[de safe shelter 
for the poor fugitive ! How did it gladden our hearts 
to hear of Elgin, and of the other stations," where 
he at last finds a home and safety. 

Leaving Toronto, we passed along lake Ontario, and 
descended the St. Lawrence, passing over its fearful 
" rapids," and arrived at Montreal. We thence pro- 
ceeded to Quebec, pinnacled, with its citadel, on its 
most beautiful heights. Leaving Quebec in its turn, 
we passed still further dowTi the St. Lawrence, in view 
of the beautiful falls of IMontmorency, and ascended the 
Saguenay. But, alas ! east of Toronto, I met with 



no one who cared for the poor African fugitive and 
refugee ! 

We returned to Montreal, passed along Lakes 
Champlain and George, staying at the latter. We then 
proceeded to Saratoga, passing Glen's Falls, a pretty 
scene on the early Hudson. We then descended the 
noble Hudson itself, staid a few days at West Point, 
and then proceeded to New York. 

A visit to Newport, New Bedford, and Boston, and 
a rather long stay at New York on our return, brought 
us to the early part of October. 

In connection with New York, I must mention, that 
in Flushing and Jamaica, both in Long Island, there 
are two colonies of free x\fricans, of about three hundred 
and two hundred respectively, left by the abohtion of 
slavery. They are in the most degraded and wretched 
condition, hving on a few clams (oysters) gathered by 
the shore, and by begging. They are ignorant, ragged, 
forlorn, and ready to famish, in the midst of sur- 
rounding abundance, for want of the necessaries and 
comforts of life. These facts were communicated to 
me by an eye-witness, a medical friend. 

Such is the result of abolition without education, 
discipline, elevation, — preparation, in a word. Such, or 
worse, would be the fate of the three millions and a 
half of our fellow men in the south, if immediate 
abohtion," irrespective alike of antecedents and of 
consequences, were enacted. 

At New York, I had the great advantage of much 
conversation with the venerable Mr. W. Jay, the staunch 



and steady advocate, through life, of abolition. His 
countenance is the picture of his heart, beaming with 
benignity. But aboUtion, immediate and unprepared 
aboHtion, without education, without disciphne, with- 
out drilhng, without elevation, would only lead to a 
treble ruin — that of the plantation, that of its owner, 
and that of the slave himself. It would repeat the 
disastrous experiment of Jamaica. Another and a 
totally different kind of Emancipation is required. 

The slave must be prepared for freedom, and not 
only for fi'eedom, but for station. The free African is 
now viewed and described as a nuisance." Why is 
he a nuisance ? Because State law has bound him in 
the iron bonds of ignorance ! Natural effect of a na- 
tural cause. But let education have its benign and 
glorious influence, and the African will justify the 
exalted opinion I have formed and given of him. 





My Tour continued : Richmond; Charlestons- 
Savannah; the Alabama; Mobile. 

^ -x- * * -x- 

We now revisited Washington, repasssing rapidly 
through Philadelphia and Baltimore, and began our 
tour through the slave- States of the south. Leaving 
Washington, we took the steamer which pHes on the 
Potomac to Acquia creek, and afterwards continued our 
course by railroad to Richmond, the capital of the slave- 
State, and — proh pudor ! — the slave-breedi?i^-S\.a.te of 

At Richmond, I visited rooms in which human 
beings are regularly and pubKcly put up to sale by 
auction, as horses are at TattersalPs. I saw no sale ; 
but I saw several young persons of both sexes placed 
on the rostrum of the auctioneer, and their good quali- 
ties declared and their warranty pronounced. I beheld 
with my own eyes a man, a seeming purchaser, go and 
examine a poor African girl, aged about sixteen, grasp- 
ing her arms and placing his coarse hand on her 
bosom ! 



There was a private room for still more minute and 
private examinations, if the poor creature had been 

Ye women of the United States, does not the blood 
come into your cheeks on reading my simple narrative ? 
And will you not lend a helping hand to rescue your 
sex from such gross treatment ? 

At Richmond, we went to the " African Church." 
Here a thousand Ethiopians stretched forth their hands 
and raised their voices to God — to God who is no 
respecter of persons." I said in my heart — I w^ould 
rather be one of these poor Africans in their slavery, 
thinking little of " the sufferings of the present time," 
than of the Anglo-Saxons, their owners and masters. 
A white man catechized and addressed the congrega- 
tion, of whom not one held a book in his hands. A 
black man prayed — simply and earnestly. 

Whilst at Richmond, I was kindly invited to visit 
a gentleman, the hospitable owner of a plantation on the 
James River. I visited the " cabins" of the negro- 
slaves, and saw them at their daily occupations in the 
farm -yard and in the corn-fields. Their physical com- 
fort and well-being appeared to me to be perfect. 

Tw^o incidents are interwoven with the slave -history 
of Virginia : 

First ; in the legislature of this slave- State a pro- 
ject was agitated and nearly carried, about twenty years 
ago, the object of which was the abolition of slavery. 
The movement is said to have been frustrated by the 



violent abolition attacks and proceedings in the north, 
which occurred about that time. 

Secondly ; it was in this State that the Colonization 
Society took its origin. It is important, in discussing 
the merit of this project, to distinguish between mea- 
sures which contemplate the mere removal of the free 
African, and those which propose the emancipation of 
the slave, and the abolition of slavery. The former of 
these projects is as selfish as the latter is generous and 
noble. The former can only rank with the " black 
code" of Illinois ; the latter would be the glory of the 

From Richmond to Charleston in South Carolina, 
and from Savannah in Georgia to IMacon, and even 
to Montcrom.erv in Alabama, the railroad took us over 
more than six hundred miles of a monotonous, marshy 
level, through " pine barrens." The bark of the pines 
or fir-trees had been artistically cut away at the 
lowest part for the exudation of turpentine. One part 
of our route in Virginia is designated " the dismal 
swamp ;" but the epithet might well apply to the whole 
of our long journey from Richmond to Montgomery. 
Such, too, doubtless is a great part of the interior of 
the five slave- States through which our course lay, in 
whose dismal" and deep and secret recesses, contain- 
ing, as in an enormous prison spread over 239,574 
square miles of surface, nearly two miUions (1,870,134) 
of enslaved human beings, who can say, what deeds of 
darkness, of immoraUty and cruelty are enacted ? 



Along this route I caught gUmpses of the huts and 
" cabins," and of the coarse and often dirty and ragged 
clothing of the poor negro-slave, where no eye of man 
can penetrate to see and pity him, and I thought them 
miserable ; not in a sense to affect his health or length 
of life, however ; for in these cHmes scarcely shelter or 
clothing at all is required ; but in regard to all that we 
consider as comfortable, cleanly, seemly, and fit for 
men. One day of our journeying was Sunday. Even 
on this holy day I observed the slave leaning listlessly 
against a wall or a tree, dirty, ragged, and forlorn, re- 
minding me of the very lowest order of our own Irish ; 
his hat, crushed into every shapeless form, was the 
same. His clothes were greasy and glossy from long 

Three incidents occurred to me on this journey, two 
at Charleston, the other at Savannah. At Charleston, 
I called on a friend, and was admitted by a bright- 
looking negro boy of about twelve years of age ; he 
knew neither letters nor figures. When at Charleston, 
we paid a visit to a plantation a few miles from the 
city. Eight or ten negresses were threshing rice in the 
farm-yard, watched over by a negro with a whip in his 
hand. We walked into a coppice or wood, where we 
met three negro children, two girls and a boy, gather- 
ing fire-wood. I asked the eldest of the party if she 
could read. She replied that she could not. I then 
asked her if she could sing, and she said — yes. I begged 
her to sing to me. She sang a hymn, in which the 
other little girl joined, and to which the boy at appro- 



priate times added his little gruff voice. The little trio 
and the whole scene were deeply touching. At Sa- 
vannah, a negro-slave's \nfe having been absent for a 
time, in attendance on her mistress, the husband pro- 
posed to take another wife. The idea of marriage, in 
the poor negro's mind, is in the highest degree vague. 
How should it be otherwise, when the master or an 
executor may separate husband and wife for ever, by 
sale, when each may contract another alliance of the 
same equivocal, or rather unequivocally adulterous 
character ? 

From ]\Iontgomery we descended the Alabama to 
Mobile, witnessing the shipping of cotton-bales innu- 
merable. On our way, it was the fate of a poor negro 
to fall over-board. With the utmost speed the steamer 
was stopped and a boat lowered ; but the poor man 
could not swim, and was lost. In the midst of the 
confusion, one lady loudly offered a reward to any one 
who would save him, thinking the poor slave her own. 
She was instantly pacified on learning that he belonged 
to another. When all was over, one gentleman ob- 
served — " There is a dead loss of one thousand dollars 
to some one." Not a feeling of commiseration for the 
unfortunate man was expressed by any one. It was 
precisely such a state of things as would have been 
called forth by the case of a drowning horse. Fami- 
liarity with slavery inhumanizes the heai't. 

At one part of the Alabama River, the steamer 
stopped, and we received as a passenger a fine, upright 
person, of quiet, dignified, gentlemanly demeanour, and 



well dressed. He was black as ebony. I soon lost 
sight of him, for he was absolutely without ostentation. 
On inquiry, the captain informed me that he was the 
favourite and trusty servant of a rich cotton-planter, 
and that he was going on business to Mobile or New 
Orleans. He was frequently entrusted with large sums 
of money and business of importance. How^ many 
such noble-minded men are kept in the depths of sla- 
very, little higher than the brute in knowledge, in this 
very State ! 

At Mobile, we visited the tents which sheltered a 
remnant of the Choctaw Indians. Idleness and drunken- 
ness seem to be their characteristics. 

For the pure Indian, I see no hope. But the 
African is capable of every thing : — fidelity, loyalty, 
industry, enterprise, elevation, greatness. In the 
United States he is, first, necessary ; secondly, un- 
avoidable ; and thirdly, in every way desirable, whether 
viewed as peasant, artisan, or citizen. This is my pro- 
found conviction. 




Ml/ Tour continued: New Orleans; Havana; the 
Lower Mississippi ; the Ohio. 

■X- -X- 4f •?(• 4f ^ 

We now proceeded to New Orleans. Here I 
visited several rooms, shops, or " pens," over which 
sign-boards, inscribed with the words slaves on sale," 
were displayed. In two of these, a fiddle was con- 
stantly making, what were to my own ear at least, dis- 
cordant sounds, I suppose to lull or amuse the miser- 
able inmates, who are still, in their degradation, pleased 
with the noise of that mockery of the guitar, the banjo, 
and of the fiddle. 

At one of these pens, I was shown a pretty boy, a 
quadroon, a native of New Orleans, about ten years of 
age, who spoke French. After a little time, and as I 
was preparing to depart, he said earnestly — " Achetez- 
moi." He little knew the emotion his simple but im- 
ploring words produced in me. 

In New Orleans, I was taken by a medical friend 
to see a poor negro girl, aged fourteen, nursing her in- 
fant ! The father must have been white. 



In this city, too, I cut out of a daily paper an adver- 
tisement for the sale of an infant, a " griffe," eleven 
months old. 

By means of similar advertisements, I learnt how 
many other slave -States, besides Virginia, possess the 
derogatory distinction of being slave-breeding, or at 
least slave- trading, States. Slaves were advertised for 
sale from Maryland, North and South Carolina, Mis- 
souri, and Kentucky. One advertisement was headed, 
Carohna Slaves." Miss Bremer, speaking of the 
slaves to be sold in one of the slave -marts in New 
Orleans, says — " My inquiries of these poor human 
chattels were confined to the question — Whence they 
came ? Most of them replied — from Kentucky and 
Missouri." — Homes in the New World, ii, p. 203. 

This slave-breeding, this internal slave-trade of the 
United States has never, I think, been exposed in its 
just colours. It is, as it" must needs be, the source of 
the most degrading immoralities amongst the poor ne- 
gresses of the tenderest age. I have much to say on 
this topic of the most fearful interest. And yet mi- 
nisters of rehgion, said to be of Christ, are found to 
defend slavery — the slavery, too, of which such im- 
moralities form a part, and in which indissoluble mar- 
riage has no existence ! 

Whilst at New Orleans, we paid a visit to a sugar 
, plantation, crossing the Mississippi, and driving along 
the right bank of the river for the space of ten miles. 
It was Sunday. On our way we saw several fields of 
the sugar-cane, in one of which negro slaves were busy 


cutting. At one spot we observed eight or ten negi-esses 
at work on the river bank, or " levee/' with spades ; 
a negro stood by with a heavy whip in liis hand ; and 
after a time a white man rode up to them. I supposed 
the group to consist of working slaves, the driver, and 
the overseer. 

From New Orleans we took the steam-packet for 
Havana, descending the lowest part of the Missis- 
sippi, crossing the northern part of the Gulf of I\Iexico, 
and safely aniving just within the tropics. 

On the banks of the river are observed many sugar 
plantations. On one of these, besides the "great 
house," several smaller residences, and the "factory," I 
counted fifty negro " cabins," constituting the " %'illage." 

In Cuba there exist, or did exist, a slaver}' and a 
slave-trade with which those of the United States, all- 
grievous as they are, are mildness itself. But it is said 
that this slavery has recently undergone much mitiga- 

In the United States, the life of the slave has been 
cherished and his offspring promoted. In Cuba the 
lives of the slaves have been " used up" by excessive 
labour, and increase m nmnber disregarded. It is said, 
indeed, that the slave-life did not extend beyond eight 
or ten years, and that from this cause, and causes worse 
still, the slave population, which augments so rapidly hi 
the United States, constantly tends to become extinct 
in Cuba, and is only maintained by importation, tlircugh 
a continued slave-trade with Africa I This is accom- 
plished in spite of all the treaties and engagements 


between England and Spain, and all the \igilance of 
British cruisers. 

The population of Cuba in 1851 was 8,028,743, 
of which 322,519 were slaves. Of the latter, I be- 
lieve six- sevenths are of the male sex ; and I am 
credibly informed that on some plantations there are 
hundreds of males without one single female. No 
wonder that this beautiful island has become as Sodom 
or Gomorrah. 

The Africans in Cuba consist of bozals, or Africans 
born ; ladinos, or such as can speak the Spanish lan- 
guage; and emancipados, or such as are by right free. 
We observed many on the quay who were tattooed, and 
ignorant of the Spanish language, and, of course, of 
recent importation. 

On returning from Havana, and re-ascending the 
Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, 
we again observed the extensive plantations on the 
banks of the river. The " great house," the factory" 
where the sugar is expressed from the cane and eva- 
porated, the overseer's house, the out-houses, and the 
cabins," constituted together the little hamlet. The 
cabins varied in number, according to the size of the 
plantation and the number of the slaves. They usually 
occupy parallel lines, and form a square, constituting 
what in Cuba would be called a barracoon, an arrange- 
ment little better than a large prison. Each cabin 
appeared, however, better than the more scattered ones 
which we had seen in the Carolinas and Georgia. 

Near some of these villages," as the assemblage 



of cabins is called, we saw the negro-slaves at work in 
the fields, under the supervision of the overseer armed 
with his whip. 

On returning to Xew Orleans, I took the oppor- 
tunity of revisiting the slave marts, and especially that 
which is held on Saturday at noon, in the rotunda of 
the St. Louis Hotel. There were half a dozen 
auctioneers pursuing their vocation, and as many 
parties of slaves, of both sexes, for sale. One poor 
mother hugged her httle girl, about nine years old, who 
looked up in her parent's face apparently wondering at 
her tears. Beinor asked the ao^e of the child, she re- 
pHed that she did not know, and earnestly added, that 
they were to be sold together, denoting what thought 
occupied her mind. 

I wandered firom party to party, and wondered 
how men could be found to engage in such traffic in 
their fellow men. 

On the 17th of March, I visited the prison in New 
Orleans, and saw the place where the offending negroes 
and negresses are sent to be whipped, the table-like 
board to which they are affixed, hand and foot, for the 
purpose, and the cow-hide, the whip, and the paddle" 
by which the lash is appHed. The cow-hide is not 
used in the prison ; the whip is a fearful instrument, 
drawing blood at every stroke ; the pad«ile consists of 
a piece of leather one-sixth of an inch in thickness, 
two inches in breadth, and twenty in length, attached 
to a whip-handle — a frightfiil instrument of torture, 
raising blisters. 



The lash is applied by order of the negro's master, 
of a magistrate, or of a country justice. 

On the following day, I again visited the prison. 
When in a distant apartment, I heard loud human 
cries, and hastened to the spot, and then partly wit- 
nessed the infliction of the paddle" on a poor negro. 
He was about forty- five years of age. He lay prone 
on the board, tied to it by the hands and feet. The 
lash was suspended when we arrived on the scene, and 
the master, a Frenchman, about thirty years of age, 
was talking to his poor victim. He had been sus- 
pected of theft, and had been ordered to go supperless 
to bed, when he ran away. He declared that he 
knew nothing of the stolen or lost articles. It was for 
running away that he was punished. After a short 
parley, the master, judge and jury in one, said, " Give 
him five more." It was these that I saw inflicted. 
The instrument struck over the glutei, induced violent 
contractions in these muscles at each stroke ; and in- 
duced yells such as had brought us to the scene. The 
poor man was at length released, drew on his clothes, 
flew to the pump for thirst, and finally followed his 
master home. 

Such a brutal scene of despotism inflicting indignity 
on a helpless fellow-mortal, I never beheld, and trust 
in my God never to behold again. 

On Saturday, March the I7th, we left New 
Orleans to ascend the Mississippi. The course of this 
mighty stream between New Orleans and the Ohio 
may be divided in general into three regions ; the first. 



that from New Orleans to Natchez, or the region of 
sugar chiefly ; the second, that from Natchez to Colum- 
bia, and from this to ^lemphis, or the region of cotton ; 
the third, that between ^Memphis and Cau*o, in which 
cotton, tobacco, maize, and pine wood grow. The 
whole comprises seven degrees of latitude, from 30^ 
to 37*^, and forms a slave region. 

On each bank of the river we observed plantations 
with their great house," the sugar factory, or the cotton 
press, and the cabins." In the lower part of this 
region, the numbers of the African race exceed those 
of the Anglo-Saxon. As we ascend, these numbers are 
reversed. Often, as we approached the banks of the 
river, we saw the negroes at their cabins ; and I often 
thought to myself — How many of you poor negroes 
have been "sold south'* to this very spot, separated 
from wife and child ? And how would education and 
discipline, marriage, freedom, wages, raise you from 
your present condition of cattle to your rank of — men ! 

Above Princetown we passed many plantations re- 
puted large and fine. Near one of them, a gentleman 
rode up near the river bank, armed with a whip, too 
large for his own horse. Of course its real use was 
left to conjecture. 

At the mouth of the Oliio our tour was completed. 
How much have we seen frill of the deepest interest? 
One dark shadow rests upon it I Shall it not be re- 
moved ? 



And, now, when I take a retrospect of all my ob- 
servations and inquiries, I feel that a great good is to 
be accomplished for the United States, both as to its 
fame and its true greatness. 

Who can deny that slavery is an odious injustice? 
What nation then, which contains slaves, can escape 
odium and reproach ? Who can deny that oppression 
of the feeble and helpless is mean and cowardly ? 
What nation, containing an oppressed people, can 
escape censure and contumely ? 

Let us raise and emancipate the poor African slave 
in the United States ; yes, and the poor free African ; 
and a frightful wound will be healed ! 

This one thing is especially wanted to render the 
" great republic" what I sincerely wish it to be, pros- 
perous, happy, and honoured ; then will all good men 
say of it — 

Eato Perpetual 






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^^l^mi^xh^ MM miTBLJSLBMT^ * 88 

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